BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — In 1995, Birmingham native and nationally syndicated radio host Rickey Smiley was shot in Birmingham during a robbery attempt.
Twenty-five years later, Smiley’s daughter, Aaryn, is on her own road to recovery after being shot three time during a shootout outside a WhataBurger in Houston. However, Smiley said she is doing much better.
“She’s doing really good right now,” Smiley told CBS 42’s Art Franklin Friday. “She’s taken a few steps on the walker.”
Smiley said it was difficult not being able to be with his daughter in the hospital.
“I had to sit outside of the hospital for four hours and the only way I was ale to see her was when they were transferring her to another hospital because you can’t go in the hospital because of the coronavirus,” he said.
Smiley said Aaryn is in the middle of physical therapy now and will soon be undergoing counseling to deal with the trauma of her injury.
Smiley said he is doing what he can to start a conversation about gun violence in America.
“My pastor Kelvin Bryant said it best: you can’t fix the yard until you’ve fixed the house,” he said. “With all of this stuff going on, in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a modern-day civil rights movement, it’s almost like you got the house is on fire, but people are inside shooting at each other in the house while the house is on fire.”
Smiley said he appreciates the messages of support he has received from his hometown and from across the country, but that he wants people to remember the Giles family, who lost 8-year-old Royta during a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria July 3.
“My heart goes out to the family,” he said.
Smiley said he was brought to tears when he spoke with Royta’s grandmother following the shooting.
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