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Hunter Hayes Calls College Student Shot After His Show

Hunter Hayes
Robin Marchant, Getty Images

What was supposed to be a fun night out with friends, attending a Hunter Hayes concert, turned into tragedy for University of South Carolina freshman Martha Childress earlier this week.

The 18-year-old was waiting for a cab near the college town of Five Points, after going out to eat following Hayes’ show, when she was struck by a stray bullet early on Sunday morning (Oct. 13). The bullet, which was from a gun allegedly fired by 20-year-old Michael Juan Smith and intended for two men he was arguing with, lodged in her spinal cord, causing damage to her liver and kidneys, and leaving her unable to walk.

Childress, who doctors say may never regain use of her legs, might be facing a tough physical battle, but her spirit is stronger than ever, thanks in part to Hayes reaching out to her as soon as he heard the news.

The singer, who found out about it thanks to a Twitter campaign started by her friends, called the student in the hospital, and for a moment at least, she seemed to forget about her struggles.

“Y’all @HunterHayes just called me!!” she tweeted. “I seriously have the most amazing family, friends and support group that anyone could ask for.”

Smith faces five charges, including assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. 17-year-old Ryan Ellison was also arrested, and was charged with disorderly conduct after he became loud and appeared to be intoxicated during the arrest.

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