Football player injured in shooting

By Dylan Reynolds

Akron wide receiver Andrew Pratt is currently recovering after his housemate mistook him for a burglar and shot him in the stomach on March 19.

Although he is taking time off from classes, the senior sports studies major recently said that he has recovered enough to go about his day-to-day life.

“My recovery is going great,” Pratt said. “Physically I’m doing just about as good as you can be. Mentally I’ll have moments where I’m not entirely with it, but overall I’d say I’m doing just fine. I go up for a follow up exam in two weeks. I hope by then to be just about back to normal.”

The incident occurred shortly after 3 a.m. on March 19 at the Rentschler Street duplex that Pratt shares with friend and former teammate Scott Boyett. Pratt said that the ordeal began when he received a text message from Boyett.

“Scott lives in the apartment above me and I live in the downstairs apartment and he told me to come up and hang out. I didn’t go up right away and it was late at night so I can only assume that he had fallen asleep or something,” Pratt said. “But I walked in without knocking like we usually do and I flipped the light on.”

Boyett, however, did not recognize his friend, mistaking him for a home intruder. He quickly retrieved his concealed-carry firearm and fired at the supposed burglar. Pratt was shot in the stomach.  

“Everything happened so fast it’s almost a blur,” Pratt said. “But when the shot hit me I remember leaning against the wall and thinking to myself, ‘Did I just get shot? Is this really happening?’ Then I remember Scott freaking out and saying how sorry he was repeatedly and he was pacing back and forth.”

Boyett got Pratt in the car and drove to the nearby emergency room at Akron Children’s Hospital. In the waiting room, they were questioned separately by Akron police, who chose not to file charges due to the accidental nature of the shooting.

Pratt was later transferred to Akron General Hospital, from which he was discharged on March 22.

Despite the physical trauma, Pratt still says he learned a valuable lesson from the experience.

“This whole ordeal has woke me up to the fact that [anything] can happen to anyone at any given time. I never thought in a million years I’d be in this situation, but I’m here and only have the option of dealing with it. Don’t take anything or anyone in life for granted [because] in a thousandth of a second your life can change forever.”

In four years with the Zips, Pratt amassed 78 receptions for 948 yards and four touchdowns. He led the team in receiving in their historic Idaho Potato Bowl victory last season, reeling in nine passes for 94 yards. He is hoping to receive an invitation to an NFL training camp this spring.