ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Often times, police will report gunshot wound injuries as “non-life threatening.” But for many survivors, the scars are life changing.
An Albany man, who asked that we keep his name anonymous, says he was shot when he was 17 years old following a very brief conversation with his shooter, who was only 14 years old.
“At that time, I was preparing for college, preparing to move out of my parents’ house, coming of age, and it completely put a stop to that,” he told NEWS10 ABC.
This happened 20 years ago. He says it still plays back in his mind, occasionally. For the first five years after the incident, nightmares about being shot woke him from his sleep.
“It wasn’t until I was physically recovered that I started to mentally recover. I didn’t feel safe in my community. Even though it all came to an end and had a conclusion,” he said. “I didn’t feel as if it was over.”
He planned on having a football career after high school, but after being shot in the abdomen, the bullet traveling back out of his side and into his arm, that was no longer an option.
He is now grateful to be alive and have a family of his own. However, he says the wounds will never fully heal.
The survivor feels for the 13-year-old girl who was caught in crossfire and shot in the leg last week in Albany. Through no fault of her own, she will be changed forever, even having lived through it.
“The scars are lifelong scars. They’re not something that will heal over time. It brings questions with my family and my younger children. They want to know what happened to daddy so long ago. I want to use my experience to empower them, and hopefully, God willing, they won’t have to experience that,” he said.
His advice to young people getting involved with gun violence: don’t make a spur of the moment decision that will change your life, or someone else’s, forever.