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Shooting victim struggles to cope with blindness

Detectives walk Seven Long, 15, to a waiting vehicle after his arrest in connection with at least three shootings. (Matthew Reisen/Albuquerque Journal)

Detectives walk Seven Long, 15, to a waiting vehicle after his arrest in connection with at least three shootings. (Matthew Reisen/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Seven Long stood at the edge of the Sandia Vista Apartment parking lot on a cloudy August night.

Court documents paint a vivid picture of what police say happened next.

Matthew Delena

Matthew Delena

The 14-year-old held a .380 revolver, given to him moments before by Matthew Delena, 23. Delena had set up a drug deal, but it was really an execution. And for Long, an initiation.

When Aneas Price pulled up in a silver BMW, police say, Long opened fire – shooting the 16-year-old “through the skull.”

“The last thing I heard when they shot me,” Price told the Journal, was someone saying they ” ‘kill (racial slur) and Bloods.’ I’m not in a gang. There’s no gang in me.”

This is the type of crime the District Attorney’s Office is targeting through its new Operation Ceasefire initiative.

Price was in a coma for more than a month. He awoke to darkness and a voice – his doctor’s – breaking the news that he would never see again.

“And I started crying,” he said. “Being blind, I don’t know where I’m at.”

Price said he doesn’t know why this happened. Police say the bullets were meant for someone else. Price used to play sports. He said it was his life.

These days, he has other worries, such as trying to find a school that teaches Braille. The school where he was set to register the day after the shooting, Manzano High School, doesn’t teach it.

“I’m just trying to graduate,” he said. “It’s really stressful, but I can’t do nothing. It already happened. It’s the past.”

In the nine months since the shooting, Price said, he still cries most days.

Against the odds, he has recovered a little of his eyesight. He can now make out colors and shapes. But he will never be the same.

In the first few months, he couldn’t walk or talk.

“I’m so proud of myself … I came a long way,” he said. “I want to succeed – I don’t want to fall.”

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