Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

cpb-logo

‘Not Going Anywhere’: Hartford Youth Group Finds Voice In Fight Against Gun Violence

Members of the Greater Hartford Youth Leadership Academy take a photo with Nelba Marquez-Greene, kneeling at right, before boarding a bus headed to a rally in Newtown, Conn. Marquez-Greene's daughter Ana died in the Newtown school shooting. Photo by Vanessa de la Torre for Connecticut Public Radio

Members of the Greater Hartford Youth Leadership Academy take a photo with Nelba Marquez-Greene, kneeling at right, before boarding a bus headed to a rally in Newtown, Conn. Marquez-Greene’s daughter Ana died in the Newtown school shooting. Photo by Vanessa de la Torre for Connecticut Public Radio

Gunfire brought chaos to the West Indian Day Parade in Hartford a decade ago. Some parade goers assumed fireworks — until they saw a kid on the ground.

His head was soaked with blood.

“All I remember is just running,” Tyrek Marquez, 17, said on a recent morning. “Then after that, it was blank.”

The 2008 shootout killed one man and wounded six young bystanders. Among the survivors, Marquez had the most serious injuries. He was that 7-year-old boy bleeding from a stray bullet to the head.

“It’s been a struggle,” said Marquez, now a senior at a public safety magnet school outside of Hartford, Conn. He remains partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. “But you’ve got to overcome obstacles and that’s what I have been doing.”

Visit Connecticut Public Radio for the full story.