Soldier shot at welcome home party may be paralyzed

A soldier who served in Afghanistan was shot and seriously injured in San Bernardino during a welcome home party in his honor, police said.

Christopher Sullivan, 22, was on leave from the Army for the holidays and attending a party Friday night when his brother and another man began arguing over football a little before midnight, said San Bernardino police Lt. Gwendolyn Waters.

The gunman, in his 20s, punched Sullivan’s brother, Waters said. Sullivan stepped in and the man pulled a gun from his waistband and fired at least three shots, Waters said. Two shots hit Sullivan, one in the neck and the other in the buttocks.

About 30 to 40 people attended the party, which was held at the home of one of Sullivan’s friends, Waters said. The shooting occurred in the side yard.


Sullivan was in very serious condition, though he was expected to survive. The shooter fled the party on foot and has not been identified or located.

The San Bernardino Sun reported that Sullivan suffered a cracked collar bone and brain damage in a suicide bombing last December in Afghanistan. He had been recovering at a base in Kentucky. Sullivan was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries, the paper reported.

Police told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that Sullivan may be paralyzed as a result of the shooting.

“We’re not sure if he’s going to be paraplegic or quadriplegic,” Sgt. Gary Robertson said.