David Pope lay beneath a sea of blankets yesterday, sleeping peacefully in the house where, nearly three weeks earlier, he accidentally was shot in the back.
“He's doing OK, but he's got to go through a lot of therapy, mentally and physically. His balance is off and his breathing is rough. But we're hoping for a good Christmas,” said Robin Cardell, the 7-year-old's mother.
Young Pope came home Monday from Toledo Children's Hospital, which is in Toledo Hospital.
He's been in the hospital since Nov. 18, when a shot fired during a fight in the parking lot of the nearby Mr. J's nightclub pierced the wall of his house at 1238 Prospect Ave. and struck him in the back while he slept on a mattress in the dining room.
The bullet went through his back, collapsing a lung.
Police have made no arrests in the shooting. They are searching for Tyrone Johnson, 22, who is wanted for a shooting at a central Toledo bar Nov. 16 and whom they want to question about the boy's shooting.
Young Pope, a kindergartner at Lincoln Elementary School, didn't have anything to say during a short visit yesterday.
But his family and friends are happy that he is recovering and is home again.
“We plan to give him a very positive welcome back,” said Martin L. Johnson, the school's principal. “We'll have banners and things appropriate for a kindergartner.”
Young Pope may return to school as early as Monday.
School representatives have helped the family by providing dinners, beds, and blankets, collected money, and fielded calls from people offering assistance.
Although her house is becoming more of a home, Ms. Cardell said she is still looking to move to a safer location.
The city closed Mr. J's nightclub, 1941 North Detroit Ave., Nov. 21. Officials allege it has building violations and is a public nuisance.
Jerome King, club manager, said he was hoping to see building inspectors this week approve work that was completed to bring the building up to code.
The work includes heating and air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical repairs.
“I'm hoping we've done the right things to reopen,” Mr. King said.
He added that he plans to install two video cameras on the outside to monitor activity on the sidewalk and in the parking lot.
Security will be increased, and rules for entering the club will get tighter.
“We're probably gonna lose a part of our clientele. We've restructured our way of thinking 100 per cent,” Mr. King said.
Michael Stanford, the city's commissioner of building inspection, said his office has had no request from club representatives to have the building inspected again.
The city hung another notice on the club stating it was closed after the first posting was removed.
Mr. Stanford said removing the notice is a misdemeanor offense.
He said the city law department and police are talking about conditions that may be imposed if the club is allowed to reopen.
Those conditions, which mainly pertain to security, include controlling activity outside the business and limiting parking.
Mr. Stanford said the club would reopen when “the conditions we feel we are comfortable with would secure and remove hazards to the general health, safety, and welfare of the general area.”