Perry Hall shooting victim's father speaks to congregation

The father of a Perry Hall High School student shot on the first day of school in Baltimore County told parishioners at his church on Sunday that his son is "pretty darn close to the road to recovery," and implored parents and children to watch for warning signs among teens to help prevent future incidents.

"We as parents, it is our responsibility to know what our kids are doing. You don't have to be intrusive or anything like that, but we should know what our kids are doing," said Daniel Borowy's father Milton Borowy, who spoke to the fellow parishioners at the Perry Hall Family Worship Center.

Daniel Borowy, a 17-year-old student at Perry Hall High School, was shot in the back while in the school's cafeteria. Milton Borowy spoke for about six-and-a-half minutes about his son, giving an update but declining to list his condition, and then he left without commenting further.

Daniel Borowy, who has Down syndrome, has been listed in critical condition. His father said Sunday that Daniel is currently recovering from his third surgery, which he said has come with complications but has turned out well.

"As it turns out from the complication, [doctors] had to change their plans. The surgery ended up going very well and it went so well that they have actually now not scheduled any more surgeries," said Milton Borowy, whose comments prompted applause from parishioners.

"Your thoughts and prayers are out there and they mean a lot, and we greatly appreciate it," said Borowy. "Danny right now is doing well. I don't want to use the words or anything because the doctors haven't used them, but I think we're pretty darn close to the road to recovery. "

Borowy also alluded to the reports regarding the activities of the teen accused of the shooting. Suspect Robert Wayne Gladden Jr., 15, reportedly posted on Facebook on the morning of the incident, "First day of school, last day of my life."

Borowy never mentioned the teen by name but said that parents need to monitor their children's activities on social media sites and added that children who see signs of unusual behavior among fellow students should tell adults about their suspicions.

"I think it's our responsibility as parents to take that mildly intrusive step and know what our kids are doing," Borowy said.

"And kids, this goes to you, too," Borowy continued. "When you hear your friend say something, don't pass things off as a joke. It only takes 30 seconds to stop into your guidance counselor, to pick up a telephone. There are help lines.

"And hopefully just a small step like that can possibly avoid another issue like this for somebody else's family or somebody else's kid," Borowy said. "We must take the steps to try to do the best we can to not let it happen again."

Perry Hall Family Worship Center pastor Dominic Correlli, who founded the church 11 years ago, said that the Borowy family has been members for several months. He said that he has been visiting Daniel in the hospital.

"There has been just tremendous outpouring from literally around the world," said Correlli, who added that the church has received emails of support from as far away as the United Kingdom. "Everybody's praying, everybody's thinking of him and everybody wants to give."

Correlli said he has had daily contact with the Borowys and added, "I was delighted that he was cool with talking. He really wanted to extend a thank you."

The church on Wednesday set up through its website, phfwc.org, a section for donations. A photo of Daniel appears on the first page of the site. There is also a Facebook site in support of Daniel.

Immediately after Borowy's comments, the church played a song, "Daniel We Pray," by Parkville musician Greg Wimmer. Though he is not a member of the church and doesn't know the Borowys personally, Wimmer said he recorded the song and emailed a copy to Correlli because, "so many members of the community … just want a way to let the family know that they're thinking of them."

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

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