A Northland teen who was shot in the head with a shotgun after a gunman opened fire inside her home is showing doctors her strong will to survive and not give up.
Reagan Class can't speak, swallow her own secretions or move her arms on request, according to her father, and is still in critical condition.
Dan Class said her 14-year-old daughter's injuries are worse than can be imagined.
Authorities believe they've found the shotgun used to shoot Michelle Class and her daughter early in the morning on July 7 at their home in the 10300 block of North Virginia Avenue. Another daughter hid in her upstairs bedroom and was not injured.
The stay-at-home mother was shot in the stomach and hand.
Dan Class has remained by his daughter's side, who faces a tough road to recovery. He gave a Facebook update on his daughter's condition on the same day she should have started her freshman year at Staley High School.
Instead, Reagan has been recovering from multiple surgeries and is slowly improving.
"We measure progress in tiny increments, but a couple of pretty big steps today," Dan Class said Wednesday.
He said during a recent occupational therapy session, Reagan was given a Teddy Grahams cracker.
"Her first bite of anything solid since this started! She chewed it up and swallowed it like a boss! Such a big step forward! So happy!" Dan Class said.
Then later in the day, Dan Class said a physical therapist came in and moved her into her wheelchair.
"She wrapped her arms around her and picked her up and made her stand on her own two feet," he recalled.
He said the therapist had to hold on to Reagan tightly, but her daughter was doing most of the standing herself.
"Tears of joy once again! She really is making incredible progress! How far she has come in a little over a month is so inspiring," he said.
The father who has been by her daughter's bedside since the shooting said he can't wait to see where her progress will be in another month.
"They allowed her to be unplugged from all of her monitors and feeds and whatnots, and I got to wheel her out of her room and outside of the hospital and onto the patio for the first time," Dan Class said.
Reagan's eyes were wide open. Taking his daughter outside was something he said he has been waiting to do for a long time.
"Hopefully some time next week, we can bring her puppy dog out to see her! That will be a tear-jerking moment!" he said.
The day Reagan walks out of the hospital on her own is something her father is looking forward to.
"It will happen," he said. "Keep the thoughts and prayers coming."
Police have yet to make any arrests, but they did release at sketch of the suspect linked to the shootings.
Spent shotgun shells found at the scene matched the gun recovered from a nearby home that police raided a day after shooting. Along with the shotgun, police also seized a bag a marijuana, a pair of shoes, two pairs of jeans, seven shotgun shells, and photographs.
Police won't say if they are any closer to identifying the shooter now that they have the gun.
Friends of the Class family maintain the gunman was a total stranger to them and there was no reason for the family to be targeted. Moments before the shooting, the gunman actually entered a nearby home through a garage but told the homeowner not to "test" him because he was looking for someone else.
The suspect has been described as a white man in his early 20s who is about 5'7" and weighs about 150 pounds. He has dark hair, a scruffy beard and was wearing a gray or dirty white T-shirt and dark pants.
Family and friends are making T-shirts to support Reagan and Michelle Class' recovery. They will be selling them at Good Shepherd Methodist Church, 9555 N. Oak Trfy., in the Northland on Saturday. Click here to read more.
Almost $8,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe page established to help with medical expenses and things the family may need. Click here to donate.
Anyone with information about the shooter or his location is urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.
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