On Monday, a Freedom High School freshmen football player was shot in the face with a BB gun and suffered a jaw injury while inside the home of a teammate as they were attempting to sell tickets as part of a fundraiser.
According to Traci Austin, she received a call at 5:48 pm from her son, Eugene Moses, 14, that he was hurt and needed to go to the hospital. She assumed he was at the school practicing football, but instead she was directed to a neighborhood near the school where he was covered in blood.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the BB is still lodged in Moses jaw and surgery at this time is deemed too dangerous. He is meeting with doctors next week to discuss options.
The incident occurred when Moses joined two of his teammates went inside one of their homes on Narcissus Court when one of the boys picked up the BB gun off the table and began pointing the gun around inside the home. He eventually pulled the trigger and that is when Moses was hit in the jaw.
“It is really unfortunate; I am upset he still has a bb gun pellet embedded in an important muscle in the jaw that makes it open and close. He can’t eat and is only on liquids and is only eating Jamba Juice,” said Austin. “It is just really unfortunate that no parents were notified, no chaperone, this could have been a loaded gun in someone’s house.”
Austin questions why she was never notified they would be off campus selling raffle tickets instead of practicing on the football field. She also is requesting a policy change and seeking the District would work on improving communication and ensuring there is proper adult supervision when students are off campus.
Freedom High School Principal Kelly Manke countered the claims of not being notified. She explained the school has had a long standing practice for the athletic teams to sell discount cards in the community to raise funds for their teams.
She highlighted that on July 31st that the football players received cards and a flyer explaining the fundraiser and the players were asked to take them home to their families. On August 8th a reminder email was sent to families that players would be selling their remaining cards in the community during practice on August 12.
Manke said on August 12th players went into the community to sell cards. Three players took it upon themselves to enter of the player’s homes. In the home, one player found a BB gun and accidentally fired the loaded BB gun, which resulted in an injury to another player.
“This is a very unfortunate accident and we are working with all the families involved,” said Manke.
Moses, who has been playing football since age 7, plays the running back position and his favorite team is the 49ers. With his injury, he currently cannot play football at this time and there is no estimated recovery time until more tests are completed.
Moses still wants to play football and hopes to get back on the field in the future.
A police report was filed with Oakley Police who are still investigating.
Oakley Police Chief Eric Christensen confirmed all three players in the case were juveniles and that officers were called because the mother wanted a police report.
Three kids are on the Freshman Football Team. Instead of practice, the Football Coach decides to have the kids don their jerseys and go sell coupon books in the neighborhood. The kids go to sell books like they have been told. Three friends who are on the Freshman Team decide not to go sell books, but instead go to one of the kids’ homes. While at the home, one of the kids grabs a BB gun that was out. The kid starts waiving the gun around and pulls the trigger – hitting another kid in the face. They do first aid for the injury and the kid goes home. When the kid goes home, Mom sees the injury and takes the kid to the doctor. The BB is still in the wound and the hospital did not want to risk further injury by removing it immediately.
Christensen also stated they are going to be referring the case to the District Attorney’s Office.