Asleep in his bed just before midnight Friday in central Colorado Springs, with his eight-year-old brother Oscar beside him, Ivan Rincon was awakened by a strange warmness in his foot.
“I didn’t know what it was,” said the 13-year-old Rincon. “I’d heard a loud sound but didn’t know what that was.”
Neither did his mother, Brenda Alvez, but she woke up “when I heard something like an explosion.”
With five children in the South Murray Boulevard house from age one to 14, Brenda and husband Nicolas raced to check on the children.
“I saw the blood and started screaming,” Alvez said. “I was panicking.”
Rincon had been shot in the foot by what Colorado Springs Police called a random act Friday night. Alvez called 911 and Rincon went to Memorial Hospital in an ambulance. After two hours, he was patched up and went home on crutches.
The bullet had cleanly gone through his heel and caused no permanent damage. Police found the bullet on a closet floor in Rincon’s bedroom, said police Sgt. Joel Kern. Another bullet struck the apartment below, but caused no harm.
“They said the bullet came in through the heater,” Alvez said. “They said Ivan was lucky.”
Alvez said her son usually goes to sleep playing Nintendo, with his head on the bed where his foot rested Friday night.
“He went to sleep early and his head was facing the other way, opposite of where he usually lays,” she said. “Or else it could’ve turned out so different. I’m grateful he is here and safe.”
It’s not always so in the south central Colorado Springs neighborhood near the boy’s apartment in the 100 block of South Murray Boulevard, just south of Pikes Peak Avenue, Kern said.
“On any patrol shift in the evening hours, it is not uncommon to hear shots every night,” Kern said.
Police investigated the shot that hit Rincon and several nearby calls of gunfire Friday night, but hadn’t found the shooters.
On late Saturday morning, that neighborhood was quiet. Rincon played with Oscar and three other friends, seemingly oblivious to the nightmare that occurred less than 12 hours before.
“Getting shot didn’t hurt much,” Rincon said. “It only hurts now when I stand on it.”
He admitted to being “panicked” when police arrived and the realization of being shot set in, but that feeling passed quickly for the Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy seventh-grader.
While laughing with an older sister and brother in the family’s apartment, Rincon showed off soccer medals and playfully swung both legs while standing firmly on his new crutches.
He has a doctor’s appointment Monday but was more worried about being on crutches during Christmas vacation.
“That’ll be ugly,” he said, before cracking a smile.
Alvez sighed deeply, expressed her relief and thought back to the early morning hours at the hospital.
“I prayed a lot,” she said. “Not just prayed, but talked to God. I thank God my son is still with me.”
Contact Bob Stephens: 636-0276 Twitter @bobgstephens
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