DENVER (KDVR) — The mother of a high school student shot near campus nearly two weeks ago says her son was “definitely an innocent bystander.”

Brionna Harding spoke with FOX31 on Tuesday. She said her son, R.J., was outside a recreation center in early September after school had let out for the day when gunshots were fired.

She said the Denver East High School freshman immediately went to protect his girlfriend when he was shot in the face.

“He puts people before himself,” his mother said.

For the past couple of weeks, he has gone through a handful of surgeries but continues to keep a positive outlook.

This past weekend, East High School celebrated homecoming weekend. Harding’s mother, the hospital and the school helped to bring a mini ceremony to his room.

Denver Police say two 16-year-olds have been arrested in relation to the incident.

If you’d like to help the family with medical costs, a GoFundMe account has been set up.