Teen shot at peace rally receives award for speaking out against violence

Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-31 15:04:48-04

EUCLID, Ohio - Josiah Watts was one of 200 people attending a peace rally in 2016, but he was one of only a handful shot that night.

"Out of nowhere I saw a gun fire, two or three shots and I just ran the other way and got hit," Watts said.

Watts was shot in the back and nearly paralyzed, but he beat the odds, recovering the ability to walk on his own after months of physical therapy.

On Saturday, the 14-year-old was presented with an award for speaking out against gun violence, committing to sharing his story and using his experience to help others.

Watts was given the award during "Fight to Unite Against Gun Violence," a boxing tournament hosted by the non-profit Little Giants where "gloves up, guns down" was one of the biggest takeaway messages. Proceeds from the event will be used towards preventing gun violence.

"They just want to be a part of something a lot of times. They come from broken homes where the structure isn't there," said Calvin Love of Little Giants. "The father isn't there, so they want to be a part of something big. That's what we offer, a sense of family."