Middle school student shot during playground holdup

FAYETTEVILLE It happened during the Martin Luther King Junior holiday behind the College Lakes Recreation Center on Rose Hill Road.

Walter Riley says he brought his little cousin to the park to give his mother a little quiet time Monday.

The 6'1" 14-year-old says he wasn't there long before four men approached him and his cousin and asked for some directions. Two of the men left, but then one of them pulled out a gun.

"And then he put the gun to my chest and said, 'Brother give it up,'" Riley said. "And I said like, 'Give what up brother, I ain't got nothing.' 'Alright give it up brother ... quit playing with me.' I said, 'Bro, you can check for yourself' and he went into my pocket ... took my cousin's phone."

The Pine Forest Middle School student says the suspect then went behind him and put the gun to the back of his head, as the suspect continued to rifle through his pockets.

"After he got done checking me, I started jogging away and I said, 'Okay?'," Riley said. "Then I heard a shot. It was like boom. Then I ducked. Then I heard, boom ... boom ... boom. And after that I got hit and everything just went black."

Riley was shot in the hip. He is expected to be okay and has spent the past couple of days on crutches.

His mother says she is surprised someone else wasn't shot, because her son says there were children out playing on the playground when the shots were fired.

"I mean, one of the bullets hit the sand box right in front of where my Grandson was playing. And my 16-year-old had to run and dive on him and cover him up," Larhonda McEachern said.

The victim's mother says she moved to the area from Detroit to get her three kids away from violence and gunfire after her first husband was shot to death while they waited at a traffic light.

"All three of them are into sports," McEachern said. "You know, they're not in trouble. And I'm not understanding this, why you want to rob some kids?"

Meanwhile, the suspect got away with the victim's cousin's cell phone.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Fayetteville Police.

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