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Minneapolis North student back playing football after shooting

Aug 23, 2023Aug 23, 2023

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MINNEAPOLIS — The wait for football season can be endless, as fans anticipate weekends filled with big plays and big hits.

But for 17-year-old Cashmere Grunau - known as Cash to his friends and teammates - the wait is even more excruciating. He is on the sidelines now, knowing that his game and his life were close to being over.

"I was truly blessed like, real talk," Cash said. "My life is completely changed in such a positive way."

Back on March 22, 2023, Cash said he was hanging out with a friend.

"It was getting a little late. So I was like, 'It's time to go home,'" he said. "I started walking home. And then while I was walking, somebody started yelling something and then they started shooting at me."

KARE 11 Sunrise Anchor Jason Hackett: "Did you get a glimpse of a face or do you know who it was? Is anybody that you knew?"

Cash: "No clue."

Cash said he has no idea why the person started shooting, but he was shot three times in his legs.

"I ran a whole block after. So like, I didn't really notice it until I got like a block away. And then I couldn't like... I just couldn't run anymore," he said. "I had to stop and I did a little self-assessment. And you know, that's where I was like, okay, I'm bleeding."

His friend called 911, and Cash was rushed to the hospital.

"They were just like, 'You're lucky. It didn't hit nothing major, no major arteries were hit.'"

For the North High Community - it felt like deja vu.

Back in Feb. 2022, it was Cash's teammate - star quarterback Deshaun Hill - who was shot and killed. The man convicted of that murder - Cody Fohrenkam - was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

"I lost my brother. It hurt more than anything," Cash said. "That was my first time losing somebody tremendously close to me. And that... it's just an unbearable loss."

Cash says as he lay there bleeding after being shot in the legs - he wasn't alone.

"I felt [Deshaun's] presence. I heard him. I felt everything like it was right there," he said. "I knew I was okay. I knew I had a purpose. I have a reason to return... He told me I was going to return so I'm going to return."

With a second chance at life, and a determination to get back to doing what he loves, Cash's rehab began almost immediately.

Cash: "There wasn't much they could tell me once I started walking... or trying to walk the next day. So you know, they just were trying to guide me from there."

Jason: "So you're saying the next day you were up and walking?"

Cash: "I had to go to the bathroom. Yes sir."

Jason: "And nothing was gonna stop you?"

Cash: "Nah...I had to get back."

He says his body healed fairly quickly. Getting his mind right was the toughest battle.

"It was just the fact that I had to get myself and my mind on track with my body and make sure that I remembered my body is not where it was before," he said.

But Cash is a fighter - in more ways than one.

Just months after being shot in both legs, he was wrestling in North Dakota.

"I think the first time I was like, 'Okay, I'm back'" Cash said.

But for the talented linebacker heading into his senior season - getting ready for football has been a bit more challenging.

"I'm sore, my legs are exhausted, it's tender, you know, I can feel the bullet. It was a really tough day yesterday, but today is gonna be better. And that's my mindset this entire recovery process."

Through the pain - he said he will push on.

As that excruciating wait for the season continues, he knows he has an entire community rooting for him - and who he calls his guardian angel watching over him.

"That's the reason I'm here today, doing what I'm doing putting the work I'm putting in. And, you know, I just I just want to say thank you to everybody."

Jason: "What it's gonna be like walking on this field for that first game of the season?"

Cash: "It's the greatest feeling ever every time, but this time it's it's gonna hit different... it's gonna hit different."

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