Father Of Teen Shot In Fayetteville Responds To Suspects’ Arrests

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Less than a month after 17-year-old Austin King was shot in the neck in front of his home, police have arrested two juveniles accused of the shooting.

Austin's father Kevin says there is so much hurt and sadness for everyone involved, but he is just glad that his son is alive.

"I didn’t get the kind of relief I would have expected," Kevin said.

Two juveniles were arrested Tuesday (Oct. 2) in connection to the shooting, but their names are not being released at this time.

Kevin says the whole situation is heartbreaking.

"We’ve got to live with the ramifications of that day from now on. Austin is paralyzed, and he may get all of it back, he may not, but he’s going to be disabled, and the young men who were arrested are going to have to live with their actions, too, as well as their families," Kevin said.

The shooting happened on Bryan Lane in Fayetteville in broad daylight on Sept. 6.

When police arrived on the scene, they found 17-year-old Austin shot in the neck in his front yard, next to the mailbox.

It was a wound that could have killed him, but he's still alive and recovering in the hospital.

"We do small three word sentences, we read lips and he’s able to communicate a lot of better than he could when he had the breathing tubes down his throat, but communication is limited," Kevin said.

The doctors set the bar low for Austin's recovery, but his family says he is a fighter.

"Today he ate half of peanut butter sandwich and today he got to get in a wheelchair for the first time and go outside of his room and take a lap around the intensive care unit," Kevin said.

Kevin says he had a conversation with his son today and said this:

"He’s going to have to work through this and live with these decisions and that I forgive him in whatever his part in this was and he’s got to forgive himself and get on with life. Life happens right now, not back there. We don’t get to relive that, it’s done," Kevin said.

Kevin also says once Austin is well enough, they will be moving him to a rehab facility.

GoFundMe and a Facebook fundraiser have been set up to help the family with Austin's medical expenses. A Caring Bridge Page has also been set up and is constantly updated with how Austin is doing.

The Washington County Prosecutor has not decided whether to charge the two teens as juveniles or adults.

Police say they were arrested on very serious charges and one of those teens is facing an attempted capital murder charge. The teens are also facing a list of other charges including robbery and tampering with evidence.

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