Aug 20, 2014 9:27 PM by Lauren Reimer

Family recovering from midtown shooting's ripple effect

TUCSON - From time to time we give you reports on shootings. Often, the person is wounded and survives, but we never hear about them again.

In many cases, the needless violence causes a ripple effect that goes, largely, unnoticed. One area family is still trying to pick up the pieces after a shooting last month on the 800 block of East Prince Road.

26-year-old Drew Harris took a bullet to the neck that night. He's been hospitalized ever since, paralyzed from the chest down.

24-year-old Alexandria Simone Defelice Eastman is the woman police think shot Drew. She's wanted for felony aggravated assault.

Holding the fractured family together is matriarch Kara Harris, Drew's grandmother and legal guardian.

"My daughter was chronically mentally ill, she asked us to adopt drew when he was a year old," said Kara.

A father himself, but unable to parent due to drug problems and occasional incarceration, Drew's four year old daughter also lives with Kara.

"We're her parents. We're her legal adoptive parents," said Kara.

Not a title most great-grandparents carry. Now having raised three generations of children, Kara may never be able to retire.

"Did we plan on this? No. How are we gonna do it? I go day by day, and some days I cry," Kara said.

She's not alone. Nearly 200,000 children in Arizona are living with grandparents or other relatives.

Violence, drugs and incarceration are to blame in a majority of cases, just like Kara's.

"Anything we do has a ripple effect. And it's impacted my household because it's put stress on us, which puts stress on the child, which makes her more difficult to handle when you're already in the midst of chaos," said Kara.

She said Drew should be moving out of the ICU and into a rehab facility very soon, but will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.


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