A 13-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico boy is recovering after being shot by a neighbor in a case that is reminding many of the Trayvon Martin killing. The boy in this case is an 8th grade basketball player who also plays first chair viola at school.
His mom says he’s a good kid, who snuck out of a friend’s house early Saturday morning but wasn’t up to trouble. “I was at my friend’s home and I was walking my friends home,” said the boy in an exclusive interview with NBC affiliate KOB Eyewitness News 4.
“And on the way there we were just running around just playing and just hiding from each other and I hid under a truck.” The moments that followed could have cost the boy his life. A criminal complaint states the homeowner, Michael Zamora, heard noises and went outside with a gun thinking someone was stealing his truck.
It had recently been stolen and recovered. “He told me to get the f’ on the ground so I put my hands up and I got on my knees. And then he grabbed me by the back of my shirt,” said the boy. The 42-year-old claims the boy punched him in the face. The boy told police Zamora dragged him into his garage and zip-tied his wrists.
“My heart just dropped and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said the boy. Zamora then took the 5’2″, 90 lbs. boy inside his house until police arrived, according to court documents. When police found the boy they realized he had been shot in the shoulder.
When police asked Zamora about it, he first told them that he had the gun it fell and went off. He then clarified his story to police saying he had the gun in his hand the whole time and then it went off by accident. When asked if he meant to shoot the boy, Zamora replied, “no, I didn’tâ€¦ It was 3 o’clock in the morning. There’s a kid messing around with my truck, what do you expect? You know?”
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” said the boy’s mother, Alysha Colbert. “I could’ve lost my son,” she said. “If he would have turned around and took off running would he have shot him in the back, because he was black?” Zamora allegedly told police, “I saw the guy right there, it was dark, he was black, I didn’t know what to expect.”
“Trayvon Martin. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind was Trayvon Martin,” said Colbert.
To that, Zamora responded: “That’s ridiculous. I was just protecting my property and my family you know. That’s all I can do. I think any other red-blooded American would have done the same thing.”
The boy is now in a sling recovering from the gunshot wound. His mom says she’s going to fight for justice. The boy was staying at a friend’s house and snuck out to walk two girlfriends home. The boy’s mother had no knowledge of this because she was at her house. “I don’t care what time of night he was out, he didn’t deserve this. No kid deserves anything like this,” she said.
After police heard from both Zamora and the boy, the decided Zamora was in the wrong. He’s now charged with false imprisonment and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. “I regret everything,” said Zamora. “I wish it had not happened but it did. It’s unfortunate.”
The boy’s mom says he’s not charged with anything. “I think that he should be in jail right now,” said the boy. “I don’t see how he thought I was a man because I’m not really that big.”