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Lyft driver speaks after being shot, paralyzed on West Side

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    CHICAGO (WBBM) — A rideshare driver just doing his job was shot when he was sent to pick up a fare.

He is now confined to a wheelchair, and he is trying to pick up the pieces of his life and move forward.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reported Tuesday, Marcus Kelley says he was sad for the first week after a bullet claimed his ability to walk. But he said his family and friends are helping him adjust to this new chapter in his life.

It was here on Feb. 27 at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Springfield Avenue in the West Garfield Park neighborhood that Kelley’s life would change forever.

“I wasn’t able to move my legs,” Kelley said.

Kelley spoke to Le Mignot by phone from his hospital bed. The night of the shooting, the Lyft driver came to the intersection to pick up a fare.

“It was just a normal ride,” Kelley said. “How we look at it through the Lyft app, it was a three-year customer with a good rating, and it was nothing to be afraid of.”

But when he arrived, he said a group of teenagers approached his Jeep and several started to climb in. At that point, he said he could only take three and asked them to leave, “because something doesn’t seem right, and they just started to get rowdy.”

Kelley said he put his Jeep in reverse, then heard gunshots ring out.

“I immediately felt the bullet go into my back and automatically, I felt I wasn’t able to feel anything below my chest,” Kelley said.

Kelley, who is 46 years old, is now paralyzed from the middle of his chest down to his feet. A 15-year-old boy is charged with attempted first-degree murder in Kelley’s case.

The teen’s mother had called him a Lyft so he could get home from a party.

“I’m not angry at him at all,” Kelley said. “Hopefully, he learns and grows from this. But he has – even though I am not dead – he has really taken a life.”

The night of the shooting, the teen was on electronic home monitoring for a gun charge.

Kelley said he is looking ahead and will now focus on learning how to live life as a paralyzed man. The teen charged with shooting him will appear in court on Wednesday.

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