MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family man is sharing his story days after, he said, he was shot while chasing after the thieves who stole his car.
The 24-four-year-old victim, who asked not to be identified, remains at the hospital after, he said, he was shot three times on Sunday.
Photographs taken from his hospital room shows the patient with tubes attached to his lungs and more than 20 staples across his body.
“I just want to take care of my family,” he said. “Me, saving up, supporting my mother.”
The victim said he left his car running just before he was going to buy some food for his father.
Moments later, he saw his vehicle being driven off.
“I just went back into the house,” he said.
He said he called 911 and jumped into a family member’s car to follow the thieves while he spoke to police dispatchers on the phone.
“I told them, ‘Hey, my car just got stolen,'” he said.
The victim said he let dispatchers know his current position.
“But I told them I was keeping my distance,” he said.
Within a mile from Carol City High School, along Miami Gardens Drive, the patient said he realized he, too, had someone on his tail.
“I told them, ‘Hey, listen, I’m being followed,'” he said.
Dispatchers told him to stop following the crooks, but it was too late.
“They speeded up, and that’s when they started shooting,” he said.
The victim said he had nowhere to go.
“Bullets came in through the back. Driver’s seat was struck, probably twice,” he said.
Cellphone video taken in the immediate aftermath showed bullet holes in the driver’s seat and the car’s interior soaked with blood.
“At this moment I’m thinking, ‘I could be losing my life in the next moment,’ but something gave me strength,” said the victim.
He said he then drove to the Shell station near Northwest 183rd Street and 42nd Avenue, where he got help from a good Samaritan.
Tyrone Simon, a cook at La Mia Pizza and Wings, a restaurant located at the gas station, described how he rendered aid to the victim.
“I just jumped into action … I told the man, ‘Grab my hand if you need to. Don’t go to sleep,'” he said. “I put the pressure on the wound until the police got there.”
Minutes later, rescue crews responded and airlifted the victim to the hospital, where he was immediately rushed into surgery.
Police said the subjects, at least two in total, got away. However, the stolen car has since been recovered.
As he continues to recover, the patient, who works in Miami Beach, said he looks forward to again supporting his loved ones.
“My daughter, she’s 1, about to be 2 in February,” he said. “I support them as much as I can. In this moment that I’m in, this is not helping them at all.”
Despite dealing with pain from his injuries, the victim continues to work from his hospital bed.
If you have any information on this shooting or the thieves’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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