Friday, April 6, 2018

Army Veteran Paralyzed in Unintentional Shooting Finally Gets To Go Home

24-year-old Joshua Keller is going home.  Josh was wounded in an unintentional shooting last year.  At the time, he was in the Army, stationed in Olympia, Washington.  Josh and his roommate, Thomas Popek, were preparing to go to a shooting range.  Popek was fooling around with a .45 caliber handgun while he cleaned the weapon.  Thinking the gun wasn't loaded, Popek pointed it at Josh and pulled the trigger.

The bullet hit Josh in the neck and lodged in his spine, paralyzing him. "I'm a C-4 quadriplegic," Josh said. "I have loss of function in my legs and arms. From the chest down, I can't feel."

Josh has spent the last year in a Veterans hospital in Massachusetts.  But now, thanks to a special adaptive housing grant, he will return to his home in Hudson, New Hampshire. A new addition to his family home has been built for Josh and his caregiver.

Popek pleaded guilt to aggravated assault with a loaded firearm and was sentenced to three years and one month confinement and a bad-conduct discharge from the Army.

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