Dangerous heat continues today in the Bronx for the first day of summer

Mother shares story of shooting that almost took her son’s life

Luis Mendez says that night he was approached by a group of men, one of whom shot him in the head before they fled.

Adolfo Carrion

Mar 17, 2023, 2:26 AM

Updated 461 days ago


A mother spoke is reflecting on a Bronx shooting that almost took her son’s life seven years ago and the path to his miraculous recovery.  
Jeannette Davila says she watched her son slowly drift into the path of street life, dropping out of school and dealing drugs while rapping about his experience.  
On June 12, 2016, the crime-filled life he had chosen caught up to him. 
“[They] put a gun to my head, they shot it, and kept running,” said Luis Mendez, Davila’s son.  
On the day Mendez was shot, he and his mother recall her begging him not to leave the house that morning for fear of his life. At 7 p.m. near the Pearly Gates playground, her worst nightmare came true. 
Mendez says that night, he was approached by a group of men, one of whom shot him in the head before they fled. He was put into a medically induced coma, with slim chances of survival.  
Lying unresponsive in a hospital bed, Davila says she barely recognized her son. Despite all odds, Davila held out hope her son would wake up. Three weeks later, he did.  
“This time, he became a better version than I could have ever asked for,” said Davila.  
Mendez could no longer walk, talk, or use the right side of his body.  
“There were times I wanted to give up,” said Mendez. “But I just kept on to that little bit of faith that I had that I’ll get better.” 
Nearly seven years later, the 29-year-old says that faith was responsible for what’s kept him alive and moving. Mendez says his dream is to become a motivational speaker and share his story with others.  

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