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Surviving a shooting, a 15-year-old still has a bullet lodged in his face

As shootings spike in Milwaukee, so does the trauma of victims
boy shot in face bullet
Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 10:48:02-04

MILWAUKEE — As shootings spike in Milwaukee, it also means a spike in victims. For one Milwaukee family, they are living with a permanent reminder of their trauma: their 15-year-old has a bullet lodged in the side of his face.

Lakila Hampton got a call two weeks ago on Sept. 26 that changed her family’s lives.

“She said my son had been shot and I just started screaming,” recalls Lakila.

Jayvion, 15, was shot while riding in a car near Appleton and 76th. The bullet is still lodged in the side of his cheek.

“It went through over here,” said Lakila, pointing to one side of his cheek. “And it is sitting over here.”

The bullet passed behind his eyes, causing him to lose sight in one. It also broke all the bones in his face.

“He said he feels it moving,” said his mom as she pointed to the bullet.

The family has also felt that bullet in every aspect of their lives. They have had to move from their home. Lakila lost both her jobs and now spends her days at doctors appointments or at the hospital. And the mental toll may be even tougher.

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Lakila Hampton talks about the fear she feels after her 15-year-old son was shot in the head.

“I feel scared, like I mean you don’t know what these people are up to,” said Lakila.

According to the Medical College of Wisconsin’s executive director of the comprehensive injury center, Terri deRoon-Cassi, the mental impact of being shot can be just as devastating as the physical injury.

“We see a lot of individuals with permanent physical limitations as a result of their gunshot wounds. A lot of people with mental health and psychological impact as a result of gun violence,” said deRoon-Cassi.

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Jayvion Lark, 15, shows where the bullet still sits in side of his face.

One in two people who have survived a gun violence attack have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One in three people have a chance at developing depression.

“We know this is significant as well because a lot of people that come in with gunshot wounds go back into the communities where they were injured. So the suffering is really perpetuated because their fear is elevated, because they almost lost their life,” said deRoon-Cassi.

In the last two years, gun violence has spiked in the city. So far, there have been more than 50,903 shots fired. Before the pandemic in 2019, that number was at 18,253.

Shots fired in Milwaukee (Jan. 1 - Sept. 30):

  • 2021: 50,903
  • 2020: 40,815
  • 2019: 18,253
  • 2018: 19,663
  • 2017: 26,642

According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, year to date, Milwaukee has seen more non-fatal shootings in 2021 than in the past 10 years.

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Jayvion Lark, 15, is dealing with multiple injuries from being shot in the head including a bullet that is still lodged in his face and losing sight in one eye.

“One of the concerns that we have been monitoring or just concerned about from a public health perspective is you now have firearms with an extended clip. You now have firearms that you can make fully automatic. All of those things are contributed to the number of shots fired in such a short period of time, producing multiple victims,” said Reggie Moore, director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Those victims, like Jayvion, will live with the trauma and the physical costs of surviving a bullet. He has lost sight in one eye, all the bones in his face are broken and he is still facing multiple surgeries to save his other eye and remove the bullet.

“It's hard, it’s real hard. I have no support. None whatsoever,” said Lakila. “But God always got us, so I am thankful my son is here.”

The family has a GoFundMe page here to help with Jayvion’s care.

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