BUFFALO, N.Y. — Teachers, friends, and family of 23-year-old Jason Phillips made an emotional plea Friday. They're hoping someone can help police find the person who put him in the hospital, now fighting for his life.
It was just after midnight on Friday, May 31 when Phillips was on his way home to his grandmother's house, on Schuele Avenue in Buffalo.
It's not clear where the incident happened or what lead to the shooting, but Jason was shot in the side of his chest.
His grandmother, Mary Phillips, tells 2 On Your Side that Jason did make it home where he told her someone had tried to take his bike.
Emergency responders took him to ECMC where he's been in and out of surgery. His condition is still serious.
"He got shot..why? We don't know," said an emotional Cathy Burgin, the Program Director for Project Gift, an afterschool program for disabled children. Jason's been going there for 15 years. "It's sad and it's unfortunate. It really is."
"Project Gift called me and gave me the bad news," admits Diane Scherrer is the treasurer of Challenged Athletes Participating in Sports. "It's devastating."
Scherrer tells us that Jason has been participating in CAPS for more than five years, playing baseball. Her son Joe is a close friend.
"He's on our Pirates team," Scherrer explained. "My husband's the coach and he plays with Joe. And he just started Special Olympics bowling with us. I just saw him last week."
Since Jason is in a medically induced coma, police can't ask him what happened. They have some leads. So far, no arrests.
"Jason is a kid of few words, but amazing with his emotions," said Scherrer.
"Amazing young man. Very loving, very caring, very kind, very sweet," added Scherrer. "I can't even understand or begin to process why or how he got shot. The only thing I can think of; wrong place wrong time, and that's unfortunate. But somebody out there must have saw something. Must know something."
Project Gift, CAPS, and SABAH have both raised money within their organizations for Jason Phillips grandmother who is Jason's sole caregiver.
If you would like to help, an account has been set up at the M&T Bank location at East Delevan and Main St, called the Jason Phillips Fund.