Abdi Mohamed, a 17-year-old Somali refugee who was seriously wounded in a police shooting in Salt Lake City, has emerged from a coma and is talking.
Abdi’s cousin Muslima Weledi told the Associated Press that the teen was awake from the medically induced coma but remains on painkillers. Weledi visited him Saturday but said that he couldn’t move his right leg and was waiting on an MRI.
“The doctors told him the bullet missed his heart by an inch,” Weledi said. “He got very lucky.”
Abdi is now able to sit up and has been working with a speech therapist, Weledi said.
Abdi, who immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 2004, sustained two gunshot wounds to the torso late last month after officers reportedly tried to stop him and another person from beaitng a man with metal sticks, police maintain, AP notes.
Weledi told AP that the teen reportedly doesn’t remember why he was shot. He reportedly only remembers getting together with some friends, going to a homeless shelter in downtown Salt Lake City and breaking a broomstick in half.
Friends of Abdi’s have disputed authorities’ statements on what happened. The friends claim that the fight started after a stranger said something about Abdi’s girlfriend, adding that the other individual had also been armed with a stick.
Weledi said that a rally is planned for Friday evening to demand the release of police video of the shooting. Authorities, however, are currently refusing until the investigation into the shooting is complete. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said that releasing the video too early could complicate or compromise the investigation.
“I want this done as quickly as possible, but as thoroughly as possible as well,” Gill said, according to AP.
Read more at the Associated Press.