INDIANAPOLIS – A high school basketball star speaks out after being paralyzed in a recent shooting on Indy’s southeast side.
Just before midnight on May 31, someone opened fire at a home hosting a high school graduation party on Wolfgang drive. That violence left Columbus Caudle in the hospital for several weeks after being shot in the back.
The 18-year-old recalled being inside the home’s garage when he was hit by a stray bullet that changed his life forever.
“I took two steps and my whole body hit the floor and I couldn’t feel my legs,” said Columbus Caudle.
Columbus said the bullet severed the side of his spinal cord, collapsed his lung and left him in a wheelchair with only a five percent chance of ever walking again, but it hasn’t hurt his positive attitude.
“It’s hard. This is me now, so if I want to do better I have to work for it,” said Caudle. “That’s my mindset is to work every single day to get back to where I was hopefully.”
Just last month, Columbus graduated high school in Georgia and got a scholarship to play D-I basketball with Alabama State.
He was only visiting Indy for a week when he was shot.
Because his mother recently passed away, Columbus is now staying with his sisters in Indy. The family set up a GoFundMe to try and get into a rehab hospital in Georgia or Florida.
Wherever he goes, Columbus promises he’ll work as hard in therapy as he did on the court.
“I believe 100 percent I’m going to get through this. It’s just going to take time, sweat and tears,” said Caudle.
Unfortunately, Columbus isn’t alone. So far this year there have been nearly 340 people wounded in shootings across Indianapolis.
Columbus did not appear to be the intended target and he has no idea who pulled the trigger that left him wheelchair-bound. He forgives the shooter but still wants them held accountable.
“I don’t have any hate toward them. I can’t take it back or do anything about it, so I just have to make the best of it,” said Caudle.
Neighbors on Wolfgang said multiple homes were also hit by the gunfire. IMPD said the case remains an active ongoing investigation, but so far no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information on the case can still contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.