I had recently received divorce papers from my second wife, and while I was waiting on money from the sale of property in San Diego, I had been sleeping in my van in Monroe Washington.
About eleven p.m. after working out at 24 hour fitness, I walked to my van and climbed in. A few minutes later a middle aged white man wearing a sports jacket got out of his car, and walked towards me holding a map.
He tapped gently on my window, so I rolled it half way down. He said: “Can you give me directions to the Mukilteo Ferry?” I said: “Yea, just continue down this road to the freeway, then turn west,- – – then – – – I couldn’t remember the name of the next street, so I said: “I was just getting ready to drive down that way, you can follow me if you like.”
He hesitated for a moment, and said: “Can’t you just show me on the map?” I said: “O.K.” and rolled the window the rest of the way down, and took his map.
While I was studying the map, he reached under the map and slit my throat!
He jumped back out of sight. I opened the door to see where he went. He was standing there quietly, watching me in the rearview mirror.
I said: “WHAT is the matter with you?” He reached in his coat pocket and pulled out a gun! Before I could get the door closed he was back inside. I jumped backwards, my feet were still on the driver’s seat.
He leaned over the front seat and shot me in the left cheek. I cried out “GOD HELP ME!!!”
My feet started kicking, I don’t remember telling them to kick, they just started kicking. The gun flew out of his hand and landed outside. I moved back into the driver’s seat, hoping I could beat him to the gun, he had two steps on me, picked it up and came back inside. I climbed back behind the front seats, but now I was completely out of ideas. I couldn’t open the side door from the inside, there was nothing to throw at him, and nowhere to hide.
He leaned over the seat and aimed the gun at the middle of my forehead. I sat there staring at the barrel of the gun.
Time is distorted at a time like this, but I think he aimed for a full second before pulling the trigger. I was doing some quick shorthand prayers, “Please take care of my family, and find a good man for Sherry. – – – I know you could still save me, – – but if not, – – this is probably as good a time as any.”
He was staring into my eyes, I was looking back and forth between his eyes and the barrel of the gun. All I could see in his eyes was a slight question mark, he was probably wondering why I was so calm, I was experiencing great peace. God’s grace was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Then the a gunshot, and felt the bullet hit the top of my head. I had heard that if you can hear the shot it’s supposed to be a good thing. He started to leave, hesitated, then looked in, pointing the gun at me again.
I didn’t think these thoughts, but these are the words that came out of my mouth; “Don’t hurt me any more- – – – I’m already dead!” Another moment and he turned and walked casually back toward his car.
I know it wasn’t out of sympathy, he was calm cool sober, and soul-less. He wasn’t out of bullets, the gun was a 22-caliber automatic, with five or six shots left in the clip.
I was bleeding profusely from my neck and head, so my best guess is after taking a look at me he believed what I said, and left me for dead.
My mind was still clear and I could still see out of my right eye, so I jumped into the driver’s seat and started the engine. I was only a block and a half from the fire station, so I was going to go for it.
Strangely enough he didn’t even look back, he just got in his car and drove away.
After turning around I saw a cab parked about thirty feet behind me. He was talking on his radio, so he hadn’t heard the shots. I circled around him so my door was by his and said: “Call 911, I’ve been stabbed and shot!”
He called, but was having a long drawn out conversation, so I got out and yelled in his window so the dispatcher could hear me. “I’m bleeding to death here, I need an ambulance RIGHT NOW!”
In about a minute there were three police cars, and then an ambulance. I gave my van keys to the police officer. I could still talk but I felt blood running down on the inside of my throat.
I described my assailant, and his car, and told them which way he went; then I gave them Sherry’s phone number and asked them to call her.
Then the ambulance attendants were inserting an I.V. and cutting my clothes off with a huge pair of scissors. They had called for a helicopter med-evac flight, which should arrive in fifteen minutes.
I wouldn’t be aware of anything else because they were sedating me. I heard the helicopter land, – – then I faded to black.
When I woke up in the hospital they told me the operation had been a success. I was on a respirator, so I had to write notes. I felt pretty good but I thought I had a bullet in my brain.
The doctors kept using the word miracle. They said one bullet had gone into my cheek and out the back of my neck, but missed everything important. One doctor said, “You should have at least lost your hearing!”
The second bullet hit high on my forehead and went under the skin, followed the top of my skull for about four inches and then back out. They thought the knife wound may have damaged my vocal cords, but it had missed both of my juggler veins.
The nurses kept asking me if I wanted pain medication. I said: “No thanks.” I didn’t even have a headache.
I was out of the hospital in three and a half days.