After a weekend shooting on a Snellville football field, one local father says he is lucky to be alive. Gwinnett County Police Department is investigating the incident where witnesses described three suspects, one of them masked.
The bullet is still lodged in Russell Duffee's neck to keep him alive. The father of two told CBS46 he could have been paralyzed or even worse.
"I felt numb, went back, and after that all I remember was the sky and the lights."
Although it's uncomfortable and even debilitating, the position the 25-year-old is now stuck in is doing more than just confining him to the couch. Duffee says recovering in the living room of his home offers a new perspective.
"It's hard to move around a little bit [but] it's made me a lot more humble and just being thankful to be here."
On Saturday, the semi-pro footballer and his team played a game on a Snellville field. Nearing the end of the fourth quarter there was no buzzer, instead shots were fired into the crowd.
A Gwinnett County police report explains witnesses saw two men shooting from a car while another witness reported seeing a masked person also run onto the field. Duffee remembers hearing screams then falling backwards.
"They were able to cut all my pads off and everything and realized I had been shot in the neck." As for the bullet to his neck, "They told me it couldn't be removed. It was too dangerous, and it might cause me to bleed out," he said.
Investigators have not confirmed a motive, but the father believes he was in the "wrong place at the wrong time."
Adding, he's now in the right place, at home recovering with those who need him most.
"You know, what's next for me is just spending time with family, my son's birthday is coming up."
Doctors found that the broken bones could cause some pain and stiffness for a lifetime. And when comes his neck movement, healing will take about six weeks. But because he's alive, he'll brace for whatever.
"They told me I'm a walking miracle."
The family created a GoFundMe account for anyone wishing to donate.