sal castro middle school, shooting, school shooting, victim, issa al-bayati, los angeles schools, school safety, guns in schools

WESTLAKE DISTRICT (CBSLA) — A 12-year-old student shot in the head at his Westlake District middle school still has a bullet lodged in his skull, according to his former teacher.

Issa Al-Bayati was shot inside his classroom at Sal Castro Middle School, located in the 1500 block of West Second Street, February 1.

He’s now at home recovering.

His former teacher, Bridgette Robinson, who taught at Sal Castro last year, told CBS2/KCAL9 she visited Issa while he was in the hospital just a few days ago.

“He is talking, however his vision is not as good as before. His legs are not moving, he doesn’t have the same mobility. His legs are moving but he can’t move them like he used to. I learned that the bullet is still lodged in his skull,” she said, adding that watching the coverage the day of the shooting was surreal.

“I saw them live, coming out of the room, and it was unreal,” she said.

Police say it was a 12-year-old girl who brought the gun to class. They believe it went off accidentally in her backpack. Another 12-year-old was also shot in the wrist, likely from the same bullet that hit Isssa, according to investigators.

We asked his teacher about the girl who brought the gun; she was also one of her students.

“Sometimes they do things they don’t think about – fully – they don’t grasp what’s going to happen years from now,” she said.

For Issa, this is not his family’s first brush with violence. His father was shot and killed in Iraq. He and his surviving family members came here as refugees.

“To have gone from Iraq, escaping violence and then getting shot in the head in a classroom, it’s horrific,” Bridgette Robinson said.

Issa’s family has launched a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs.

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