- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

ANTIGO, Wis. (AP) - A teenager who was shot and wounded outside his prom at Antigo High School last month is talking about the ordeal that has shaken the small northern Wisconsin community.

Collin Cooper, 18, said the bullet that struck his leg shattered part of the major bone in his calf. He’s back at home recovering after seven days in the hospital and three surgeries.

“(The doctors) said the lucky part is it didn’t hit any major arteries and it only nicked one vein,” Cooper said.

The teen said he can’t walk yet, but he should be able to put pressure on his leg in about three or four weeks, and could be walking on it fully in about three or four months.

“I’m kind of bummed to be down right now but I’m thankful and lucky that it was just this and it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Cooper told WJFW-TV (https://bit.ly/1TLiEXz ) on Wednesday that “it’s cool” to see how the town has rallied around him and the other victims after the shooting. Community members have also embraced the family of the shooter, Jakob Wagner, who was fatally shot by a police officer after the teen aimed a rifle at him.

Although Cooper said he wants to put some of the events behind him, he also wants to “hold onto” others so he can “help people in the future.”

He said his date, who was grazed by a bullet, is doing well and has returned to school in Illinois.

Cooper isn’t back at school yet, but said he will use his crutches to walk across the stage for his upcoming graduation.

He plans to work this summer and attend college this fall.

___

Information from: The Rhinelander Daily News, https://www.rhinelanderdailynews.com

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