A hard working family man who was celebrating what was supposed to be a momentous occasion suddenly became another victim of brutal gun violence.
In an instant, life and how he sees it, changed for forever.
Local 4’s Sandra Ali sat down with Sean Kelley for his story.
“Some mornings I wake up and, oh, it’s so rough. I tell my wife, ‘I don’t like this. It will be so black,” Kelley said.
On Jan. 12 of this year, Kelley and a friend were walking to their car in a strip mall parking lot on Joy Road near Evergreen.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone approaching.
“This guy just came out of nowhere,” Kelley said.
It was a gunman with a .45 caliber pistol.
“I could just see the evil in his face,” Kelley said.
Then, the gunshots came.
“It was like thunder, like an eruption,” Kelley said.
He was shot in the head at point blank range.
“The bullet went in from my right side and exited on the left side. It was a clean exit,” Kelley said. “I thought one of my teeth had fallen out, something was rattling inside my mouth. When I spit it in my hand, it was a bullet.”
Kelley said that was the last memory he had before everything went dark.
He woke up in the hospital to some grave news.
“Initially, when I got to Sinai-Grace, they told me I would never be able to see out of either eye,” Kelley said.
He was completely blind.
“I can’t even see the sun, the stars or the daylight,” Kelley said. “My most prized possession, my wife and son, I can’t even see anymore.”
Kelley’s wife, Larhonda, had just given birth to their son.
Kelley said he’s grateful he can still touch and hold his son, even if he can’t see what he looks like.
“It’s just so disturbing to me that right now the only thing I have is a vague memory of him,” the father said.
Kelley and his family are struggling to adjust to his new life.
Doctors have told him they might one day be able to restore some sight to his left eye.
But until then, Kelley said he’s focused on bringing attention to the growing epidemic of gun violence and catching the gunman who targeted him.
Kelley said he’s been told by detectives on his case that more than 60 percent of shooting cases like his go unsolved.
Kelley has not been able to work, and his family is in need of help.
Anyone willing to donate can do so at any Flagstar Bank under the “The Sean Kelley Support Team - #111012689.”
There is also a Facebook page: Sean Kelley Northern High School