$5K reward offered in case of 17-year-old anti-gun violence advo - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

$5K reward offered in case of 17-year-old anti-gun violence advocate shot while sleeping

Zo Shauku. (Source: WBRC) Zo Shauku. (Source: WBRC)
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Talking with Keiah Shauku, you can hear not only the pride she has for her eldest child and only son, but also the respect she has for 17-year-old Zo Shauku.

"Thoughtful, loves to learn, he would self-describe as a nerd," Shauku says when describing his personality.

From working with kids at coding camp to volunteering at the library and participating in youth leadership forums, she says Zo loves to serve. Following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, he joined with other young people to start Iron City Generation Now which focuses on combating gun violence.

"The young people said, 'Okay, grownups, you're not doing it. You're not taking it seriously. And since you are not taking this seriously like we are, we're going to set about to do something'," Keiah Shauku says.

So she found it unbelievable when she learned Zo had been shot early Friday morning while sleeping in his own bed in the 4200 block of Lloyd Noland Parkway in Fairfield.

"Had he not sat up, Zo would not be here because it would have hit him in his head," Shauku explains.

Keiah, out of town at the time, was first told it was a flesh wound, then much worse. "It went through his left side and had broken a rib going in, or two ribs, passed through his lung and was lodged in the muscle near his spine," Shauku describes.

She says her neighbors were having a gunfight when the stray bullet flew in.

Now as Zo lies in the ICU, his mother says she'll work to make sure this doesn't happen to any more children.

"I want Birmingham, I want Alabama, I want the world to say, 'Hey! This should not be," said Shauku.

She says Zo is improving every day and has already said he will continue his efforts to combat gun violence.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the shooting.

If you have any information about the crime, please call the Metro Area Crime Center at 205-582-6800 or the Fairfield Police Department at 205-786-4111.

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