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Lothian Shooting: ‘Much More Than a Prank’

Kathy Raley, the mother of the boy shot in Lothian last week, speaks with Patch about how her son is doing, and how this incident changed her views on gun control.

Less than a week after her son Kyle was shot in what police called a “prank,” Edgewater resident Kathy Raley is left with a mix of emotions.

Most of all she is thankful—thankful that her son is alive, and thankful for the prayers she said helped him keep fighting. Raley is also left with compassion for the 22-year-old who shot her son, and an altered view on gun control.

For Raley, who has lost track of days, it’s hard to believe that less than a week ago, in the early hours of the morning on June 5, her son was shot in the buttocks in what police called a “prank.”

Investigators said Patrick Stapleton, 22, of Ashland, VA, shot Kyle in his sleep, mistaking a .40-caliber handgun for a BB gun.

As of Tuesday, Kyle remains in intensive care at Prince George’s Hospital.

“I felt like people needed to know that this was horrific,” Raley said. “That with this careless prank not only did he almost lose his life, but [potential] loss of his leg has been an issue. This is something that is going to affect him for the rest of his life.”

Raley said Kyle’s femoral artery, the large artery in his thigh, was “destroyed.” The swelling on his left leg was so severe that she said doctors were concerned the leg wasn’t getting the blood it needed.

But while Raley was concerned about Kyle’s leg, she was more worried she was going to lose her son.

“The nurse told me each minute we had with him was a gift, and when they tell you that, honestly a leg didn’t seem that important at the time,” Raley said. “But it certainly looks like the issues aren’t going to be as bad.”

Raley said Kyle should be getting out of the ICU in the next few days. They have been able to talk with him, but she said he has a long road of rehab and recovery ahead of him.

Despite how life-altering the events of the shooting has been for Raley, Kyle and their family, she said she is not angry with the “boy” who shot him—who has been charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

“I know he is not a boy because he was 22, but I am a parent and will call him a boy, and this is going to affect his life and his family,” Raley said. “I feel sympathy for his family too. I feel no anger for them honestly. I have a totally different opinion now on guns and the responsibility people, who own these guns should have.”

According to police, the gun used to shoot Kyle is legally owned by a resident of the house they were in. However, the homeowner was not around during the time of the incident. Police said that the weapon appeared to be stored as required by law, but added that the case is being reviewed by the State's Attorney's Office.

Raley doesn’t understand why a loaded gun was “lying around the house.” She said before this happened to Kyle, she didn’t really have much of an opinion on gun control. But now she does, and she wants to be heard.

“Until now I never really had a side on the gun issue, not for it not against, and I can’t say now that I have a side for or against,” Raley said. “But I certainly have a side on gun safety and gun responsibility. And I guess that is what I am trying to say through all this. This happens everyday. And so many people are not as lucky as we have been. “

Raley added, “We as a family thought someone needed to hear more than a prank and non life-threatening because this was much more than that.”

See Also:

  • UPDATE: Lothian Shooting Result of a 'Prank'
Kaitlyn Nevin June 11, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Much love to Kyle and the family!
Sue Crandall June 12, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Why in the world would anyone think it's okay to shoot anyone with anything but a water pistol? The shooter is upset because he made a mistake in what weapon he thought he was using? Really? There aren't words to address what he thought/did. Once again, whose gun was it and why was it readily available to use? Instead of banning guns for everyone, lets prosecute the shooter for assault with a deadly weapne, give him jail time, and make it part of any firearm legislation that he and others like him will never again be allowed to purchase a firearm, as he has clearly shown he has no respect for guns. Of course, this can only apply to legal guns, not the cheap unregistered imports brandished in every urban center. Finally, if there had been a concealed carry law in place, the madman who slaughtered those movie goers in Colorafo would have been stopped fairly quickly without the terrible carnage. Disarming the public gives a criminal with a gun the confidence that there's nothing to stop what he or she wants to do. Just like the school yard bully, these folks have backup, one has a "posse", the other only needs ammo.
Rita Siprak-Weill June 12, 2013 at 02:25 PM
I don't think the public will every know the entire story because it will be overcome by more recent news but I will keep Patrick, Kyle and the gun owner and their families in my prayers. Ultimately I don't think ANYONE should ever point a gun at another person or animal as prank or joke. This accident is a perfect example of what terrible consequences that action can have. People have to realize that guns are not toys and shouldn't be treated that way. You can never know a 100% if a gun is loaded, is on safety, is empty, etc. till you pull the trigger and then it's too late. If it's not your gun, don't touch it. Careful people who keep guns in their homes have them locked away so something like this can't happen. I don't have or use guns but it my understanding that the proper way to store of a gun is to separate the gun and the bullets. Why was this gun assessible? It's just so sad that Kyle had to be hurt for Patrick and the gun owner to learn these kind of lessons.
Matt June 12, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Of course my concern and well wishes go to Kyle and the family. This is just one more incident where proposed and enacted gun laws would not have prevented this tragedy. The burning question is, how does anyone legislate stupidity?
Steve J June 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM
It's really hard to believe that anybody could mistake a 40 caliber handgun for a BB gun! Something seems very suspicious about this.
Kyle Raley June 16, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Thank you to everyone for your prayers. I'm finally home and feeling better. On a side note; me having to go through 2 surgeries, getting almost 70 staples in my stomach and groin, and receiving 9 litres of blood is a lot more than a "prank."

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