Man partly paralyzed in shooting given handicap accessible van - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Man partly paralyzed in shooting given handicap accessible van

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By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Getting around on four wheels has been a big adjustment for 36-year-old Harry Weaver and now he has four more.  A total stranger donated an amazing van to him.

Meanwhile, Richard Nickerson is charged with armed robbery, assault with intent to commit murder and other crimes.  He is accused of opening fire on Weaver and a friend as they left a Masonic Temple on McDougall back in September.

"I certainly hope that he is punished to the full extent of the law," said Weaver.  "It's unfortunate that he choose the path that he did."

Weaver suffered a spinal cord injury in the shooting and is paralyzed from the waist down, but he doesn't have time to be bitter.  He has a two-year-old son and a baby on the way in March.

Disabled veteran Stacey Boyd saw his story and was inspired.

"The van has been sitting in my driveway for about a year and when I saw the story, I told me wife that I'm going to give him that van."

He did, but there is more.  The van needed repairs.  Advantage Mobility Outfitters in Wayne fixed a remote controlled ramp for free.

"We didn't think twice about offering our services in terms of providing the proper parts and labor," said Jeff Goldblatt.

Serra Chevrolet in Southfield did the detailing and got the engine running smoothly also free of charge.

"It couldn't happen to a better person to be able to get something donated like this," said Scott Bruyere with the dealership.

Weaver has taught countless local students a lesson of nonviolence running the Anti-Defamation League's Project No Place for Hate.

We were there when he checked out his new van for the first time.

"It's incredible," he said.  "I can't say enough about everybody involved."

"It just reinforces what I already know to be the case.  There are more good people than bad people."

Weaver will still have to go through training to learn how to use the hand controls to drive the van.  He is expecting to do that in the next month, and if all goes well, he hopes to get back to work before the end of the year.

"Not only [did] I gave him a van," said Boyd.  "I gained a friend also."

Boyd, who was injured in a car crash while serving in the Army is now acting as a mentor to Weaver.  A bad situation brought some good people together and brought out the spirit of generosity and giving.

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