• Father of 4 hit by stray bullet partially paralyzed

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    CHARLOTTE - A bullet caused a father of four to be partially paralyzed. Saturday night, family members told Eyewitness News that Brandon Yam’s condition has improved at Carolinas Medical Center. Yam’s sister said he recognizes his family now, but is still having a lot of trouble with his speech and moving the left side of his body.

    Chenda Yam Wilson rushed from her home in Georgia to CMC after finding out that her brother had been hit in the head by a stray bullet. It fell out of the sky while Brandon and his family were in a tent selling food at a festival celebrating the opening of a Buddhist Temple on Owen Boulevard near North Tryon.

    "I'm just shocked,” Wilson said.

    Wilson works with people who have spinal and brain injuries. She knows how much worse the situation could have been. She told Eyewitness News she’s thankful for the emergency workers who rushed him to the hospital.

    “Thank you to all the nurses, all the doctors, and all the paramedics who were there and tried to save him,” Wilson said.

    Eyewitness News also spoke to Yam's son, Randy. He was with his father when he was shot.

    “We heard a pop and turned around and my dad was frozen,” Yam said.

    Randy says his father can't move on one side of his body, and doctors still haven't removed that bullet from his head.  

    “They tell me they can't remove it, because if they do, he'll become paralyzed,” Yam said.

    As for the shooter, investigators believe someone shot the gun into the air in the surrounding area, possibly celebrating the Fourth of July. The family hopes anyone with information will come forward

    “We need some kind of closure,” Charlie Wilson, the victim’s brother-in-law, said.

    Family members say Yam still has a lot of swelling. They won't really know how much permanent damage there is until some of the swelling goes down.

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