COLUMBUS — Gavin Hardin’s swollen hands and feet are a vivid reminder of what he has been through and the long road that lies ahead.
“From being one of those athletic kids that could go pick up his friends and play a game to now not being able to use the restroom by myself — just lying in this bed. I can’t even play Xbox,” Hardin said.
Columbus police say the 18-year-old was one of four people who were shot near the basketball courts at Lincoln Park last Tuesday night. Hardin says he was shot in the arm and leg.
“You just see blood; You don’t know where you are shot. It all happened so fast,” Hardin said.
According to court documents, the victims were identified as Hardin, Tyler Hamm, 23, and two minors that were not named.
Two suspects were taken into custody over the course of the investigation, according to police. They are now formally charged in connection to the shooting.
Alex Parker was identified as the driver of the vehicle and the shooter was identified as Edmarius Oats.
A probable cause document shows that Oats and Hardin were involved in an ongoing conflict related to a female they both previously dated.
During the conversation between the two over an Instagram call, Oats learned that Hardin was at the park. Words were exchanged and Oats relayed the message that he was going to come and “shoot him in his shit.”
Court documents state the shooting occurred approximately 30 minutes after the call.
“I didn’t think he was going to pull the trigger in that manner. He had threatened it multiple times before,” Hardin said.
Court documents say that Hardin’s mom told police her son had been getting threatening messages from Oats.
“I lay here and think about what I could have done differently,” Hardin said.
Hardin admits it shouldn’t have gotten to this point and he hopes others will learn how to handle their conflict better instead of resulting to gun violence.
“You could talk about it, you could fight about it or you could just leave each other alone. But don’t shoot,” Hardin said.