Wheelchair-bound athlete pursues powerlifting dream

(WPIX/CNN) - In Brooklyn, an athlete has risen from personal tragedy to triumph in the sport of powerlifting.

Garrison Redd was always a natural athlete.

He was a star on his high school football team with dreams of one day going to the NFL.

Redd was the victim of a random shooting, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Police said the shooting was an apparent gang initiation, leaving witnesses of the crime too scared to testify.

Despite the injury, Redd's parents never stopped pushing him.

His mom said she wasn’t going to let him use his disability as an excuse.

After acclimating to his new life, Redd started playing sports again and rejoined a gym, where a friend suggested he try powerlifting.

"Powerlifting gives me that opportunity to show people that I’m an asset. I'm as strong as anybody else, no matter what physical limitations I have," Redd said.

At 122 lbs, he was able to lift more than twice his body weight with no training whatsoever.

Last year, Redd qualified for the U.S. Paralympic Powerlifting Team.

In March, he will compete in the World Championships in Colombia, where he hopes to qualify for the Paralympic Games in 2024.

Redd also runs The Garrison Redd Project, where he helps newly disabled people get the mobility devices they need to keep moving forward.

Copyright 2020 WPIX via CNN. All rights reserved.