“Hard road to recovery” for teen shot in neck


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A 17 year old who was shot in the neck is in intensive care at Washington Regional Medical Center and is making some positive progress, according to the family.

“We’re truthfully glad that he’s alive, because this could’ve gone even more horribly than it is,” Kevin King said.

Austin King’s neck and spinal cord are damaged, said his dad Kevin King.

On September 6, 17-year-old Austin King was shot, according to Central EMS. The shooting suspect is still unknown, and Fayetteville Police did not confirm if the incident was a drive-by shooting.

“Is it gang related? Is it this, is it that? [Asking those questions] is a squirrel cage that makes me crazy, so I try not to go there,” Kevin King said. “The Fayetteville Police Department…if they don’t already have these people, they probably already know who they are.”

Neighbors in the area were surprised by what happened and called the neighborhood, “quiet”.

“We’re not 100% sure [why this happened], and he can’t talk, at least not right now,” Kevin King said. “Indication is that he had some reason to be near these people.”

GoFundMe accounts have been set up, including one by Kevin titled, “Austin King Medical Fund”.

“[Austin] currently has movement in his right arm,” Kevin King said. “Although the diagnosis is paralysis, we are hopeful that since the spinal cord is not completely severed, we will recover movement over time.”

Kevin King said it’s a “long, hard road to recovery…rehabilitation will be forthcoming.”

“As hard as it is to see right now, we’ll someday find the reason why this happened, the good that is to come from this,” Kevin King said. “Meanwhile, hug your babies.”

The other GoFundMe account was created by Austin King’s half-brother Jason Smithwick.

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