The road to recovery may have just gotten a little bit brighter for a victim of the Taft Union high school shooting. And he has his classmates to thank for it.
Bowe Cleveland, a 16-year-old Taft Union High School student and fan of the Spiderman comics, received a personalized message from Stan Lee of Marvel Comics after fellow students started a viral campaign on social media.
"Hey, hi, Bowe," Lee begins in the video. "You know, I've been told that you're a big fan of mine, and I want you to know, that means a lot to me."
The shooting occurred at a science classroom in Taft, Calif., last week. According to witnesses, alleged shooter Bryan Oliver entered and fired one round, striking Cleveland in the chest and abdomen.
The students, who returned to school in Spiderman T-shirts or red and blue to support Cleveland, had been campaigning the man behind Spiderman, X-Men, The Hulk and others, for days.
Some users didn't even go to school with Cleveland, but still wanted him to be able to meet Lee.
I know I'm not from Taft but I'm going to help..#StanLeeMeetBowe
— #stillkidrauhl♥ (@devi_acharyaa) January 11, 2013
On Tuesday, Lee responded via Facebook and Twitter, apparently with genuine interest:
When the YouTube video was published, sealing their efforts, the hashtag morphed from a plea to a statement:
#StanLeeIsMeetingBowe #StanLeeIsMeetingBowe #StanLeeIsMeetingBowe #StanLeeIsMeetingBowe #StanLeeIsMeetingBowe #StanLeeIsMeetingBowe
— Nick Jordan (@RuBiKs_Eh) January 16, 2013
According to staff at Kern Medical Center, Cleveland's condition is no longer life-threatening. Eyewitness News said doctors planned to remove him from an induced coma.
Meanwhile, Oliver has pleaded not guilty to two counts of premeditated attempted murder and three counts of assault with a firearm in the attack, which ended as teacher Ryan Heber, now being hailed as a hero, talked him into dropping the weapon.
"You've got a whole superhero cheering section, rooting for you," Lee says to Cleveland in the video.