ST. PAUL — The bullet that struck a 25-year-old man during Sunday’s mass shooting in St. Paul remains lodged in his arm.
And he hasn’t stopped feeling shaken about the gunfire that erupted at the Seventh Street Truck Park bar.
“It’s hard to go to sleep, you just think about how close you were to dying,” said the man, who asked not to be named. “I keep saying ‘Lucky’ and ‘Crazy,’ but there’s not a word that describes it.”
He also can’t stop thinking about Marquisha Wiley, the 27-year-old killed in the shooting that injured him and 13 others. “Did I see her? How close was she to me?” he wonders about the woman, who he didn’t know.
The Ramsey County attorney’s office charged two men on Monday, Oct. 11, with murder and attempted murder, including of the 25-year-old.
Terry Lorenzo Brown Jr., 33, of St. Paul, told police that when he entered the West Seventh Street bar, which is near the Xcel Energy Center, he saw Devondre Trevon Phillips, 29, of Las Vegas.
Phillips and Brown were in a dispute due to allegations of domestic abuse between Brown and his girlfriend, who is a relative of Phillips’, according to the criminal complaints. Video surveillance showed Phillips shot Brown, who fired back, the complaints said.
There were more than 200 people in the bar and other than Phillips, Brown and another man with them who was shot, the rest of the injured and Wiley were innocent bystanders, the police chief said Monday. They ranged in age from 21 to 36, and were primarily treated for gunshot wounds to the legs and arms.
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Gunshots then bleeding
The 25-year-old and his friends arrived at the bar around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, and they were standing by the front door. When he heard gunshots behind him around 12:15 a.m., he and everyone got down on the ground.
He felt his face getting hot and thought he’d been shot in the face, but he believes it was shrapnel. Then, he noticed his arm was bleeding badly. The shooting continued and people were screaming.
He saw one gunman had been tackled, but he didn’t know if the shooting was over. “I was scared that we were going to get shot while we were still on the ground,” he said.
A friend who is an EMT immediately applied pressure to his wound and a woman, who the 25-year-old didn’t know, also helped. “My buddy was really calm,” he said. “He knew what to do.”
Pain and elusive sleep
When police arrived, an officer put a tourniquet on his arm and paramedics loaded him into an ambulance with another man who was wounded.
They took them to Regions Hospital, where he worried about whether his friends were OK. He later found out that a brother of one his friends was taken to United Hospital with a gunshot wound to the ankle.
For the 25-year-old, the bullet had struck an artery in his wrist area. Doctors left the bullet in his arm for now — he doesn’t know if it will be removed later.
After he was released from the hospital about 6 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, he went home and tried to sleep. It was hard then and continues to be. He’s in pain, but more than that, he can’t make sense of what happened.
He has taken some time off from work. He’s talked a little about Sunday to a couple of friends who were also at the bar. Communicating with other people about it is difficult. He wonders: How do you express the feeling of barely escaping with your life?