Last March, life forever changed for Melodie Harris and her family.
“It will never be the same. It didn't kill us, but it definitely woke us up to a new beginning of a new lifestyle. We have just adapted and tried to get through it as a family,” said Tyrus Harris’ mom, Melodie.
Melodie’s son Tyrus, who at the time was a senior at North High, confronted his classmate Kim Liech about a fight Liech had with Harris' siblings earlier in the day.
Liech shot Harris three times near 38th and Boyd Streets. One of those bullets is still lodged in his spinal cord leaving Harris paralyzed from the waist down.
"My kids will break down because they don't like to see their brother in a wheelchair or they're just mad at themselves still that it even happened all together," said Melodie Harris.
Wednesday in court Liech apologized to the Harris family and to his own family for letting them down. A judge sentenced him to a minimum of 25 years for first degree assault and a minimum of 5 years for use of a deadly weapon.
Liech’s youth will be spent behind bars and he won’t be parole eligible until he is 40.
As for Harris, despite spending weeks in the hospital, he graduated on time and is now in his second semester at UNO.
Melodie says it has been a tough adjustment for her son, but doesn't want to think about life without him.
“I could have lost my son and by the grace of god he is still here,” said Melodie Harris.