Air-soft gun claims boy's eyesight - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Air-soft gun claims boy's eyesight

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What some consider a toy, nearly claimed Gary Cruz's life last week. The air soft gun was loaded with steel pellets instead of the recommended plastic ones.Another kid misfired, and now Gary will never see out of his right eye again. His mom is warning others, these are not toys, but weapons.
 

"It does damage. It ravages lives. It took something away from my son that I can never get back," said Nicole Quintana, Garys mom.

Quintana witnessed something that every mother hopes she never has to see.

"I go outside, my husband pulls up with my son, he has a towel with blood in his hand and he's holding his eye and I start screaming to the top of my lungs: what happened, what happened?!"

Gary was rushed to the emergency room where he was soon after airlifted to specialists in Seattle. Surgeons operated through the night in an attempt to save his sight, but sadly, there was too much damage.

"Now his dreams are a little shattered. As a mom looking at your 16-year-old son, you want to take that away and I can't, so I
m just holding on by every strength that I have right now."

Gary dreamed of joining the marines, but now he may not get the position he wants, all because of this
toy gun.

"Treat every gun as if it were loaded. Always know what you are shooting at and what's behind your target. Don't ever point your gun at anything you intent to kill or hurt,
said Luke Eidt, Lewis and Clark County Deputy Sheriff.

You have to be 18-year-old  to purchase an air soft gun, but a person of any age can legally fire them.

"To know that they still sell steel bb's and that kids can purchase them its heart wrenching because you never know what a child is going to do, especially if they're not trained," said Quantana.

The sheriff's department recommends air-soft gun users enroll in a hunter's safety course, and buy protective eye and ear gear.

 

 Although none of those materials are required for purchasing the gun itself. In fact, Gary and his friends purchased the gun that took his sight just hours before the incident. 

"It maybe didn't take his life, but it took his life. Like he has to start and work even harder than the next person."

Now Quintana says all her family can ask for is prayer, guidance and that her son's tragic story will help save another child's life.


The family is left with an immense financial burden. Quintana says she's not asking for a handout.
She'd just like be able to provide the best situation for her son.

Use this link to donate to Garys GoFundMe:  https://www.gofundme.com/gary-cruz-lost-his-right-eye

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