Long road to recovery for Indianapolis boy shot in head at party

DeAndre Yates (May 2014 WTHR file photo)
Published: .
Updated: .

February 2nd, 2014 is a night that changed the Yates family forever.

At a house party that night on the northwest side, 13-year-old DeAndre Yates was shot during a fight, but investigators say he was not the intended target.

Months later, he continues to recover after he suffered a traumatic brain injury from that shooting.

He's been robbed of his ability to speak and now has a hospital bed in his bedroom.

“He can't walk, he can't talk, he can't play football. He didn't get to finish the basketball season, things like that I think about. He can't do things with me and his brother anymore. It's difficult. It's very difficult,” his mom explained Friday.

Just home from the hospital, he received a shunt Monday to help fluid drain off of his brain. That will give doctors a clearer picture of his road to recovery.

“He was a good kid who wanted to go to college and play football, of course, and if that didn't pan out he wanted to be a firefighter. He never once said I want to join a gang, I want to get a gun, I want to smoke and drink, he thought those were the worst things ever,” his mom DeAndrea Yates explained.

Her life is now consumed with caring for her son.

“I have a great support system, I pray, we have a lot of people praying for us and I know that's what's keeping strong because it's so hard, so hard,” she explained.

What's also hard is that the person responsible is free.

“Every day we woke up in the hospital and there was something else on the news and I can't promise anybody that he's still not out there doing this because no one will identify this person. It's just my prayer every day that his own conscience gets to him and he turns himself in or someone who knows will say something,” she said.

Anyone with information can call the anonymous police tip line at 262-TIPS.

The family has insurance, which is paying most of the medical bills, but they are saving up to buy a handicap van.

Related story