Army veteran paralyzed after being robbed and shot following Cardinals game

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - The FBI will help St. Louis police try to find the person who robbed and then shot a Cardinals fan as he left the game Friday night.

All Chris Sanna, 43, was trying to do was go home.

Sanna left the Cardinals game early Friday night because he had to work the next morning.

But he never made it to work.

He never even made it home.

Instead, he is in a hospital bed, paralyzed from the waist down.

'I am truly shocked that you can`t leave a cardinal game without getting shot,' said Candis Sanna, Chris Sanna`s mother.

Chris Sanna is an army veteran who manages a car repair shop in south St. Louis County. He had joined his brothers Friday night to celebrate their mother`s 60th birthday at Busch Stadium.

Sanna and his girlfriend left during the ninth inning because he had to work the next morning, but as they headed for the parking lot at the Old Cathedral, a car pulled up to the red light at Memorial Drive and Walnut Street.

Then, a man leaped out and robbed them.

Sanna`s girlfriend handed the thief her purse, which had $200 and a cell phone in it, but as the couple turned to run away, the robber fired two shots, one hitting Sanna`s spinal cord, missing his aorta by only a few millimeters.

The bullet has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Sanna told his mother after he had been shot; the gunman knelt down and stole everything Sanna had in his pockets.

'He is one of the most kindest people you`d ever meet and he tried to make light of it, but he cried this morning and said mom I`ll never use my legs again,' Candis Sanna said.

Mayor Francis Slay said he has told the police chief his overtime budget is now unlimited.

And Chief Sam Dotson says he`ll be spending it.

'Going into the baseball playoffs, you are going to see additional officers downtown,' Dotson said. 'We are increasing our uniform presence downtown.'

Dotson says there were a dozen extra officers on duty downtown Friday night, including an officer two blocks away from the shooting scene. But he says you can`t have an officer on every corner.

The mayor and chief are also renewing their pleas for a dedicated gun crimes court and passage of a bill by the Board of Aldermen that would pay for more officers.

Sanna was in stable condition but still in intensive care Monday night.

He has been told it`s likely he will never walk again.

Sanna describes the gunman as a stocky black man about 5`2' to 5`3' with long dreadlocks.

He describes the car as an old, dark colored sedan that looked like it might have been a Thunderbird. There is no description of a second suspect who stayed in the car.

Police have asked the FBI to help them look for robbery patterns and any connections there may be between this case and several recent robberies in the city that all ended with the victims being shot.

Sanna`s stepfather says he just hopes someone comes forward to identify the gunman.

'It is easy to be hateful and full of anger but we are not full of anger, we are not hateful,' said Charles Shipman.

Sanna`s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay cover medical expenses, loss of income, and changes that will have to be made to his home.