RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — At just 24 years old, Izaac Colunga has already proven himself as a professional boxer.
He fights as a featherweight but is fighting for his life now.
Over the weekend, while Colunga was at a going away party for a friend, he was shot in the back of his neck. Family members say the bullet is lodged in his vertebrae.
Monday night, dozens of his loved ones gathered outside a Riverside hospital to send their prayers up to Colunga.
“He’s strong. My brother’s real strong,” said Colunga’s brother Aaron Colunga.
“To see him go through this, it kills us,” said family friend Carlos Ulloa.
Police say he just happened to be sitting inside the home, when the suspects drove by and opened fire.
“We don’t believe he was the intended target of this shooting at all,” said Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback. “We wanna find these people who did this so we can hold them accountable.”
Colunga isn’t only a boxer, but a school bus driver for kids with special needs.
“It’s not fair. Izaac is loving. He’s humble. He’s a great guy,” said friend Anette Lira.
“This is just a minor setback but he’s already on his road to recovery,” said friend Michael Lira.
His family says doctors had already declared Colunga brain dead. But then, they witnessed a miracle.
“His brother told him I love you. Gave him a kiss. And then he opened his eyes,” said Ulloa.
They say he proved to them all that he has a lot of fight left in him.
“Yup, we got a good relationship,” said Aaron Colunga.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for Colunga’s medical expenses.