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Brainerd native recovering at home after being shot

Brainerd native Matt Porwall, who was shot the night of Aug. 22 while waiting for a bus in downtown Minneapolis, recovers from a gunshot wound at his Minneapolis home. Submitted

Matt Porwall, who was in art club and a few "little bands" before graduating from Brainerd High School in 1991, never imagined he would be a victim of a shooting.

Porwall, an innocent bystander, was shot the night of Aug. 22 while waiting for a bus in downtown Minneapolis. Porwall, who just got off work as a sous chef at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, was minding his own business waiting for the 7:20 p.m. bus near Hennepin Avenue and Sixth Street. There was no one else waiting for the bus.

"I wanted to catch the bus, which was a block away from Target Field, and these two guys walked past me and were fighting," Porwall said in a telephone interview. He said people fighting in downtown Minneapolis is common and it didn't surprise him.

"One jumped up and ran fast toward me and the other guy shot me. ... At first I thought I got hit by the guy's shoe because his shoe fell off when he was running. But then my leg started going out and I was like, 'Wait a second,' as I felt like someone punched me and I lifted up my shirt and saw the bullet hole (in my stomach)."

Porwall said two employees from Jimmy John's rushed to help him. They brought him to the sandwich chain and helped him with his wound, while they waited for paramedics and police. Porwall recalls apologizing to them for bleeding on their floor.

Porwall was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center's trauma center in Minneapolis and was released Monday. Porwall, who will always have the bullet lodged in his stomach, is recovering from his injuries at his Minneapolis home, with his mother, Kathy Porwall, and his two cats Kirby and Lopez at his side.

Porwall's father Cy said his son is the most peaceful person in the world and has never been in a fight or been in trouble.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Matt Porwall to help pay the extra bills and for his income loss. People can donate at www.gofundme.com/matt-innocent-bystander, and his page is set up as "Matt innocent bystander."

Close to $7,000 has been raised through the website.

Porwall said he is blessed with all the support he has received from family, friends and others who have helped him.

Porwall began his chef career at Madden's on Gull Lake after he graduated from high school.

Authorities charged a St. Paul man in connection with the shooting, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Delorien Chatman, 28, is charged with two counts of assault and one count of possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent. Chatman's bail has been set at $500,000.

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