Yakima shooting victim home from hospital

Community helped remodel home for wheelchair accessibility

YAKIMA, Wash. — A soon-to-be father returned to his Yakima home Friday after weeks of recovering from gunshot wounds at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Over the past few weeks, the community has rallied behind 35-year-old Jonathan Spear: donating supplies, time and labor to help repaint his house and make adjustments to help him to get around using a wheelchair.

“We’ve had an incredible group of people coming together from all over Yakima — friends, neighbors, businesses who have put their efforts collectively into transforming Jonathan’s home into a place that’s accessible and usable for him,” said Caleb Spear, Jonathan’s brother.

Jonathan was shot in the shoulder and spine June 6 as he was tending the garden in his front yard near South 24th and West Chestnut avenues.

RELATED: Yakima gunshot victim calls for compassion toward shooter, warns against racial bias

Yakima police officers said the crime was unprovoked and the victim chosen at random. The suspected driver and shooting in the drive-by shooting have been arrested.

“I have a complete injury at T7 and it’s the highest grade, which means that I don’t have any sensation and I don’t have any motor control,” Jonathan said in a video update. “I don’t have any sensation from about the belly button down.”

Community members brought flowers and signs to put in Jonathan’s yard Friday morning to help welcome him and his wife home. In a little over a month, family, friends and strangers have raised nearly $170,000 to help him with his medical expenses.

“We’re just so so grateful, so appreciative and we’re just so happy to have such a great community of people who care so much and are willing to pitch in,” Jonathan said in a video update.

RELATED: Yakima neighbors raise more than $98,000 for shooting victim

The money donated through the family’s GoFundMe page is also helping them to make the home more accessible.

“We added a vertical platform lift to the back of the house and connected that to a new deck and added a new doorway,” Caleb said.

Caleb said local businesses and workers have stepped up to help with remodeling, including:

  • Standard Paint, which donated the new paint for the house.
  • Paintsmith, which donated its workers’ time and labor to repaint the house.
  • Mark Evans Plumbing, which helped install a new accessible shower stall and other plumbing adjustments.
  • D Squared Electric,  helped make modifications and upgrades to allow for the new lift to be installed.
  • Jim Kuntz, a retired neighbotr, who partnered with his former employer MBI Materials to fabricate low-profile thresholds and HVAC floor grates.
  • Jeremy Hansen of Jars Family Craftworks, who helped with a new bed frame and created the inlay for the floor grates.

“Jonathan had started that [house painting]  project just before he was injured,” Caleb said. “So to have them come out and do a wonderful, wonderful job was really wonderful.”

While Jonathan and his wife are settling back into their home and new challenges, the couple is also preparing for another big change. Their baby is due Aug. 9 — exactly a month from their return home Friday.

“Getting ready for the baby and cooking and just doing like boring day to day stuff at home sounds nice,” Jonathan said in a video update.

Caleb posts regular updates about Jonathan’s injury, recovery journey and his hopes moving forward on their GoFundMe page here.


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