Vigil held for Orlando teen paralyzed in accidental shooting

17-year-old charged in shooting, police say

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:35:52 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 23 2013 12:06:39 AM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Family and friends of the teen, who is paralyzed after he was accidentally shot while playing basketball in Orlando, held a vigil Tuesday night to pray for the teen.

16-year-old Mario Whitehead is paralyzed from the waist down after the Monday shooting at Willie Mays Park.

Whitehead was shot in the shoulder. Relatives told Local 6 doctors have been unable to remove the bullet, and he now is paralyzed.

"Right now, it's like I'm living a nightmare and I just want to wake up," said Marvel Giles, the mother of 16-year-old Mario Whitehead.

Giles said her son is paralyzed from the chest down.

"To sit by my son's side, everyday and to see him, not being able to be himself, and do the things he used to do," she said.

Takim Neal, 17, was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed firearm, improper exhibition of a dangerous firearm, discharging firearm in public, possession of a firearm by a minor and culpable negligence causing injury. Police said he accidentally shot Whitehead when he pulled out a semi-automatic hand gun that was tucked in his waist band.

The two were playing basketball around 5 p.m. Monday night, when Whitehead told police he heard a loud bang, fell, and could not feel his legs.

Whitehead's mom said her son, a junior at Oakridge High School, was planning on joining the army after graduation.

Relatives believe the shooter had no business bringing a gun into a crowded park, and they think he should be behind bars.

"This is a place for children, why would you have a weapon down here?" she said.