Rony Monzon is being called a hero for putting himself between a gunman and a friend he's known his whole life. Natalie Martinez reports.
The young boy who shielded his best friend from a spray of bullets earlier this week said he wouldn't hesitate to take the same action again.
"She's kind of like a sister to me, so I would do anything if it's part of my family," Rony Monzon said from his home Friday.
Two days earlier, the 13-year-old was sitting on a porch and eating pizza with Deneysi Valdovinos, a girl he's known his whole life, when a gunman walked up and started shooting.
He is back at home recovering, his right arm in a sling, and a bandage on top of his left hand.
"I don't know where they started shooting from the side and I was like very scared and I ran inside. And then her dad told me that I was bleeding. I checked myself and I was bleeding from my chest, my arm; and I saw the little holes and I was very scared," he said.
Despite being scared, he said he didn't feel any pain and tried to remain calm, even trying ease the fears of his own mother, who'd been called to the home.
"I just remember that I hold him and he just said, 'Mom, calm down. I'm OK. I'm OK," ... that was his only concern in the moment," recalled the boy's mother, Diana Monzon.
Doctors said the teen was hit three times; in the arm, chest and hip. All of the bullets passed completely through his young body.
Monzon said Valdovinos visited him in the hospital before his release late Thursday evening.
"She was very thankful; very, very thankful because I saved her life," he said.
Standing on the same porch where she was shielded from gunfire, with bullet holes still in the wall behind her, Deneysi wondered why the shooting took place.
"Why would they do this us, like...we're innocent," she said.
Doctors said they expect the Rony's recovery to take about six weeks.
He said his faith has kept him strong, and he and his mother said they hope the shooter learns the error of his ways."I forgive him. I forgive him for what he has done to my son," said Diana Monzon. "I feel sorry for this guy. I don't know what past through his mind, and I hope that he realized that it was a big mistake what he did."
"You never prepare for something like this because today it was my son. Tomorrow it'll be someone else," she said.
Rony wants to see the shooter brought to justice.
"I know they didn't mean it for me; they meant it for the other people," he said. "But I would like to know if they could catch them and then give them their sentence to know what they had done to me, because this isn't fair for me."