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Someone shot him in the eye at a Chesterfield shopping center: 'Somebody needs to be held accountable'

Posted at 3:02 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 23:31:56-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Lindsay Gravitt is concerned after someone shot her son in the eye with a BB or Airsoft gun outside DICK'S Sporting Goods at the Hancock Village Shopping Center in Midlothian.

"I got a phone call from one of his friends and I picked up and my son was screaming in the background, 'someone shot me in the eye,'" Gravitt said.

Her son Matthew, a senior at Cosby High School, was in the store with friends when they noticed another group of teenagers giving them weird looks, his mom said. No words were exchanged.

When Matthew and his friends left the store, a car pulled up and someone fired a BB or Airsoft gun at the group of teens.

Matthew was hit in the eye and leg.

His friends drove him to the nearby Swift Creek ER for immediate treatment. Doctors there put him in an ambulance and sent him to the hospital for surgery on his eye, his mom said.

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Matthew Gravitt following the incident at Hancock Village Shopping Center.

"He got stitches in his eye and eyelid," Gravitt said. "He still can't really open his eye. He can't see out of it because he has to keep it dilated."

Fortunately, doctors don't believe the teenager suffered any permanent eye damage.

Gravitt said her son and his friends recognized one person in the other group and she provided that person's name to Chesterfield Police.

“I hope the police take this seriously," she said.

Police said they were still investigating the incident which was reported on Friday, April 15, at about 8:30 p.m.

"I want these kids caught and held accountable," Gravitt said. "If he lost his sight, it would have been life-changing. Somebody needs to be held accountable."

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After her son's injury, Gravitt was told about a drive-by challenge trend where people record videos of themselves shooting unsuspecting victims with BBs or Airsoft pellets or paintballs and post those videos on TikTok and other social media.

'If these kids are doing these Tik Tok challenges, they need to know someone might shoot back," she said. "I really would like these kids stopped before someone else gets hurt."

Anyone with information can call Chesterfield Police at 804-748-1251.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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