A teen who has only had his driver’s license a few months is grateful to be alive after a road rage incident earlier in the month.
The 16-year-old was left traumatized after getting shot in North Richland Hills on August 19 around 10:45 a.m., according to NBC 5 DFW. The young driver said he may have cut off a dark-colored SUV on his way to work, and the driver reacted by shooting at the teen.
The victim was traveling on Loop 820 eastbound near Iron Horse Boulevard when the shooting happened. The unidentified suspect shot at the victim’s car multiple times. At least one bullet shattered the side window.
“About three minutes after, I touched my shirt and it’s all full of blood and I was like, ‘Oh I think I might have got shot,'” said the victim, who has not been publicly identified because the shooter is still at large, NBC 5 reported.
Doctors determined that a single bullet had hit him in the chest. They have chosen to leave the bullet in place for now.
“When the doctors told me I was lucky to be alive it just made me rethink life a little bit more,” said the victim.
The incident shook up his mother.
“My life has not been the same after that,” she told CBS News Texas. “It’s very scary because I don’t know what happened with the other people.”
North Richland Hills police are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspected shooter. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Peck (817) 427-7049 or to submit an anonymous tip by phoning (817) 469-TIPS.
“God gave me a chance again and I feel like I should appreciate it,” the victim said, per NBC 5.
Violent crime in the North Texas area has been on the rise this summer. In Dallas, there have been 164 murders so far this year as of August 25, according to a Dallas Police Department (DPD) report. The figure marks a 6.5% increase over the same period last year.
DPD has been understaffed. There are currently only around 3,100 police officers in the department, roughly 900 short of the 4,000 recommended by a City report.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie García noted that the shortage is not limited to Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“We are in a national hiring crisis for police officers. … There’s just no question about it,” García said.
While Fort Worth has struggled to maintain its police force, its downtown area is bolstered by a dedicated neighborhood police unit and private security guards. It has been seeing considerably less crime than Downtown Dallas.