The family of Jody Neal spoke out Wednesday for the first time since the shooting, showing a photo of him recovering in Ben Taub Hospital, and playing a voice recording of Neal.
"I would like to thank everyone for praying for me. I appreciate your kind thoughts. I am going to work on getting well so I can get on back to school and get my life back in order. Thank you," the recording stated.
Family members say Neal was attending Lone Star College to get his GED, so he could attend the Art Institute of Houston. Last week, they say he simply bumped into Trey Foster, the man accused of opening fire.
"I guess it wasn't good enough that he said sorry," said Neal's aunt, Sharon Mayo.
She says her nephew was shot six times.
"Jody was shot twice in the stomach, twice in the arm, once in the leg and they just found one in the back and he just had surgery yesterday," Mayo said.
Family and friends insist that Neal's not involved in a gang, and was just a victim in the shooting that unfolded a week ago. They say Neal wants to become a tattoo artist, and showed off some of his sketches.
"In his spare time at home all day that's all he does is draw, and that's all he wants to do is draw, that's it," said Neal's grandmother.
On January 22, prosecutors say Neal and Trey Foster bumped into each other and an argument ensued. About 30 minutes later, the men ran into each other again and prosecutors say Foster fired multiple shots, hitting Neal and two other men.
A man who was walking with Foster around campus that day, Carlton Berry, was shot in the leg. He was originally charged with aggravated assault along with Foster, but the charges were dropped against Berry on Monday.
A maintenance man, who was an innocent bystander, was also wounded in the shooting.
Foster fled the scene and was arrested last Friday in Plano, then returned to Houston. He faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Berry claimed he had nothing to do with the shooting and just happend to be talking with Foster when Foster and Neal got into the altercation. He was in jail for nearly a week and is angry about how he's been treated.
"All I know is I am a good person. I don't run with gangs. I am not a gang member. I attend school to further my education so I can have a better future," Berry said Tuesday.
Berry was initially charged in the case, but on Monday the district attorney's office said it lacked evidence so the charges were dropped. Now Berry is asking for an apology for statements made by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia last week.
"I hope he gets what he deserves," Sheriff Garcia said last week.
But when asked Monday, Sheriff Garcia said he didn't do anything wrong.
"I'm not going to apologize. I owe him not apology," said Sheriff Garcia. "This is an ongoing that is still in progress."
However, community activist Quanell X says that's not acceptable.
"I say to Sheriff Garcia, when you say that you have nothing to apologize for, and that you refuse to apologize to Carlton Berry, we're saying that you're refusing to apologize because you don't want to do the right thing," Quanell said.
We contacted the sheriff's office after Berry's press conference and a spokesperson there said nothing has changed, and that the sheriff has already commented on that and has nothing else to add.
Meanwhile, Quanell X is now calling on the sheriff's office and the district attorney's office to expunge Berry's arrest and charge.
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