A man who was shot multiple times after leaving Larry Flynt's Lucky Lady Casino in Gardena said he is still in awe he's alive.
“I’m scared every minute now,” the victim, who wished to remain unidentified as his assailants have not been apprehended, told KTLA on Monday.
He was driving away from the casino on June 7 with a "large sum of money" he had won when another vehicle intentionally struck his around 4:30 a.m., according to Gardena police.
“I got rear-ended by a car, and it was a brand-new car and it was in a dark intersection,” he recalled.
He pulled into a Chevron station just a few hundred feet away from the casino where it was better lit so the two could exchange insurance information. The other vehicle followed.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘You know what? I respect this guy,’" the man said. "I thought, ‘For being young, they’re responsible.’”
Then the person got out of the car and put a gun in his face, demanding money.
“When he said, ‘Give me your f—ing money,’ between having the gun at his hip and my face, I had to make a split(-second) decision what I was going to do because I have two little kids.”
Thinking of his 4- and 6-year-old, the Navy veteran said he grabbed the gun in attempt to deflect the bullets and ducked.
But he was still shot three times, he said: in the hand, the top of his head and his shoulder, the bullet from which went through his back.
Despite his ability to defend himself under pressure, the victim credits his son with saving his life.
“My son, who’s 6 years old, said a prayer that I would be safe that night and I think maybe that’s what deflected the bullets,” he told KTLA.
The victim was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in stable condition.
The assailants, who were driving a light-colored gray or silver four-door SUV, fled eastbound from the gas station.
They were described as black men between 25 and 30 years old, both between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet tall. One who held a dark automatic handgun had a dark complexion and dreadlocks and was wearing a white T-shirt and dark jeans, police said. The other wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and light pants.
Meanwhile, the victim has been unable to work due to his injuries and his worried he'll lose his business and family's new home as a result. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support his recovery.
Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Detective Mike Sargent at 310-217-9635 or Detective Carlos Fernandez at 310-217-9615.