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Hunter Hayes Reaches Out to College Shooting Victim

Hunter Hayes
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Last weekend, University of South Carolina freshman Martha Childress was waiting for a taxi when a she was hit in the ribcage by a stray bullet. Family members say she may never walk again, but she’s recovering. A phone call from Hunter Hayes no doubt helped lift her spirits — the 18-year-old had seen him in concert earlier that same night!

Childress and a friend had gone to get something to eat after the Hayes show at the South Carolina State Fair on Saturday night (Oct. 12). Some men standing near her as she waited for a cab began arguing. Twenty-year-old Michael Juan Smith allegedly fired two shots at two men he was arguing with. He missed the men, but one bullet hit Childress, lodging in her spinal cord.

After surgery to repair her liver and kidney, Childress realized she still couldn’t feel her legs. “Sometimes she is lying there in bed and thinking and trying to process what has happening to her,” her uncle Jim Carpenter told the State, a South Carolina newspaper.

Friends began a Twitter campaign to get Hayes to call Childress, and after hearing the news, he picked up the phone. “Y’all @HunterHayes just called me!! I seriously have the most amazing family, friends and support group that anyone could ask for,” Childress tweeted on Wednesday morning (Oct. 16). It was only her second tweet since the shooting, with the other thanking everyone for their support.

The alleged shooter and an acquaintance were quickly arrested and remain in jail. The State reports that other famous people who’ve reached out include Ms. South Carolina 2012 Ali Rogers and the USC baseball team coach Chad Holbrook, who tweeted:

“We are counting on @marthachildress to throw out a first pitch at a game this spring. You are in our thoughts and prayers!”

Next: See Hunter Hayes as a Little Boy!

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