JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A cab driver is out of the hospital and sharing details about the shocking and terrifying night that nearly ended his life.
More than a week ago, the 42-year-old driver was shot several times while working in Northwest Jacksonville. Police said two men were trying to rob Carlton but then took off.
Channel 4's Vic Micolucci spoke to the victim, Carlton, Sunday. He declined giving his last name, but shared his story.
Carlton said he's alive by the grace of God. He said the incident happened when he was minding his own business and working to provide for his family. Two men caught a ride. In the end, one of them ran away while the other shot him from the back seat of his cab, Carlton said.
"They never said, ‘Gimme your money,' or ‘This is a stickup,' or anything. I just heard a pop. I was shot first. 'Pow!' and first thing that hit my mind was, 'Is this happening? It can't be happening. It's so fast.' And my foot at the time just was on the gas and I heard the second pop. Then I heard, 'Stop the car, give me your money.' And I said, 'I don't have much money,' and I jumped out. Had to be doing at least 30, 40 miles an hour," said the victim.
Carlton said he then ran for his life.
"In the process of me running, the few bucks I had behind me, I threw them behind me. I noticed my arm was down and I was just running. And when I got to the main road to where I could see traffic, the first car went by me. And I turned my head to the left and the second car I saw coming, I see a JSO car and I just walked out right in front of him and just lied there," said Carlton.
The shooter got away and rescuers rushed Carlton to the hospital. Police say he'd been shot three times.
"A fragment traveled from here and ended up here. And I have fragments that made part of my lung collapse also. Shattered my arm. Got rods, screws in my arm," said Carlton.
The man said he's been a cab driver for seven years and has never had anyone try to hurt him. He feared last Saturday would be his last and he'd leave behind his family, including a 15-year-old son.
He said the shooting was completely unprovoked, that he even offered to give his attackers a discount.
Carlton told Channel 4 he was shot just blocks from the spot his only brother was murdered 6-years-ago, a coincidence which brought him to tears.
As police search for the two men behind the stickup, Carlton shared a message for the men.
"I would have given you whatever you would have asked for. You could have had the whole vehicle. It's not worth my life. All you would have to do is ask me for it, and i would have given it to you," said Carlton.
Carlton said he's optimistic he'll make a full recovery. He said he's unsure if he'll ever drive a regular cab again.
The whole ordeal left the man in the hospital for several days, and huge medical bills to show for it, he said. Carlton said he doesn't have insurance, so is now faced with having to find a way to pay.
Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.