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Man robbed, shot, and left paralyzed after crime spree last month

Thomas Young said doctors haven’t told him whether he’ll be able to walk again. But they have told him he’ll be in rehab for another two months.

DENVER — Nearly three weeks after a crime spree in Denver, arrest affidavits are beginning to paint a clearer picture.

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Thirty-year-old Thomas Young was robbed and shot during the August 17th crime spree involving five young men at Colfax and Lafayette, according to the Denver Police Department (DPD).

“I just went to walk around the block to blow off some steam," Young said. "I wasn’t but two blocks away from home when five guys ran up to me threatening -- asked me to basically give them my wallet, keys, and my cell phone and everything.” 

Young said the suspects got him to the ground and started beating him and brandishing firearms. He said the suspects kept kicking him as he covered his face to protect himself. After rummaging through his shorts, he heard a shot go off.

I remember my ears ringing, they all scattered. And the next thing I was laying on the parking lot ground," Young said. "I couldn’t move my legs. I was just stuck there sort of yelling for a few minutes, it felt like, like until somebody walked by with a phone that could call 911 and get some first responders down to me.” 

A witness reported that he heard gunshots and someone yell, "Someone shot me," the affidavit says. 

That witness also reported seeing a Maroon SUV fleeing the area. Believed to be the Honda CR-V, the suspect had stolen moments before at Colfax and Grape during a carjacking.

Young spent two weeks in the hospital and is still battling the injuries.

“It went through my right flank under my rib cage went straight across my back and out the left flank," Young said. "As it was going through, the shockwave of that bullet hit some of my spinal nerves and that’s what’s giving me the problems right now.” 

The bullet also fractured a vertebrae and damaged some nerves along his spinal cord. He’s now in rehab, paralyzed from the waist down, working to regain his strength.

“I have no feeling or motor use below my waist. I’m in a wheelchair right now and that’s the only way I get to move around,"  Young said. "I was bedridden for about two weeks at the hospital before I was actually even able to get up and get in a wheelchair to move myself around."

He said doctors haven’t told him whether he’ll be able to walk again. But they have told him he’ll be in rehab for another two months.

“It’s three to five hours a day of me going to different classes or going to a gym and actually seriously working out my body. You have to compensate differently in a wheelchair -- it's more upper body now that I don’t use my legs,” Young said.

He’s still in disbelief at the ages of those accused of attacking him and killing Shmuel Silverberg.

RELATED: Crime spree impacts small Orthodox Jewish community in Denver

“It’s pretty staggering what they got up to in that short amount of time. My heart goes out to everyone else that was touched by the violence that these kids got up to,” Young said.

He’s grateful for the family and friends that have supported him during this difficult time.

“Even if I never do walk again just having the support system and knowing how much love there is out there, it’s amazing. So, I get up every day just ready to go and ready to tackle everything,” Young said.