Arlington BP owner shot in robbery cannot return to work

Vipin Sharma says bullet is still lodged in his body

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Vipin Sharma, the Arlington gas station owner who was shot during an armed robbery, told News4Jax his life was turned upside down in a span of two minutes.

The BP store he manages near the Arlington Expressway was open for business Friday, but Sharma says it will be closed in the coming weeks.

The 57-year-old was wounded during the July robbery and cannot work due to his health.

"I was working hard just to support my family, and this guy has messed my life up," Sharma said. "He grabbed the money -- whatever he could. He turned halfway and shot me."

The bullet traveled through Sharma's hand and into his pelvis. The bullet is still lodged in his body.  This was a couple days before his wife, Jayshree Sharma, was scheduled to have surgery for breast cancer.

"I had my surgery scheduled July twenty-seventh. He was shot on (the) twenty-fifth of July, so they had to postpone everything," Jayshree Sharma said.

Neither Vipin nor Jayshree Sharma can work, and their insurance won't cover the BP owner's medical expenses.

"I really need help. Thank you everybody. Thank you so much. Thank you for your prayers," Vipin Sharma said. "Thank you lord for giving me a second chance."

A donation page has been set up to help Sharma pay his medical expenses.

Police have arrested Sherwin Birt, a 38-year-old ex-con, in connection to the shooting. He was charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault.

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