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Innocent bystander shot, Team USA athletes visit him in hospital - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Innocent bystander shot, Team USA athletes visit him in hospital

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Team USA athletes were visiting patients at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central on Thursday.

Olympian Jason Brown and Paralympian Allison Jones visited oncology and rehab patients, giving each one a pair of USA gloves. 

Brown is from Highland Park, Illinois and Jones is a Colorado Springs native. 

The two athletes also stopped by to see Thomas Villanueva. The 28-year-old man was hit in the crossfire during a police investigation at the Murray Hill Apartments on Monday where Deputy Micah Flick was killed.

News 5 learned from a friend that Villanueva was shot in the back, an injury that could leave him paralyzed. 

Villanueva's spirit on Thursday: thankful to be alive and fighting to walk again.

"I'm just glad that I have my life still...for some reason I blacked out like three seconds, didn't see a thing, and then I turned to my right and I saw these two people, and they were fighting over a gun."

It's how Villanueva describes what happened on Monday when he was shot. 

"I had no warning, nothing like that...I didn't know exactly what happened. I couldn't feel my leg. I was just laying there for awhile." 

He remembers walking to his apartment at Murray Hill when he got caught in the crossfire of a police investigation. 

"I feel bad for everybody that got shot. I feel bad for that officer that died too. I wish I wasn't there. I wish they weren't there either...that other officer that died I didn't know him, but I wish that he was still alive too. I feel sorry for their family and everything." 

Villanueva is trying to recovery physically and emotionally. On Thursday, he got support from Brown and Jones. 

The athletes said, "We really believe in you...you're on the right path, positive. Just find the silver lining in everything. The story is being written. It's not over."

They are words that Villanueva is taking to heart. 

"I'm going to make it. I'm going to start walking again. I'm going to start walking again."

On Thursday there was no word on if or when Villanueva will be having surgery. 

As he recovers, his family and friends ask the community for continued thoughts and prayers. 

A GoFundMe page has been created for Villanueva.

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