Resting at home – a sling on his arm, and a hospital ID bracelet on his ankle – 58-year-old McNeil Wilson is on the road to recovery.
He almost lost his life earlier this week, in a robbery attempt caught on camera at his North Miami jewelry store on Christmas Eve.
“I'm feeling a lot of pain, but like every four hours I take some medication,” said Wilson, the owner of the Bright Star jewelry store.
The pills help ease the pain of a single gunshot wound. Wilson said one of five robbers fired a bullet that went through his back, and punctured a lung, before flying out of his chest.
“I was bleeding, and I said, I thought I was going to die, you know?” he said.
He says he prayed to God to let him live. Wilson said he was hit at about the point in the surveillance video where he and his son ran from a man spraying bullets over the counter. He can’t bear to see the video anymore.
“I watch it, and I don't want to watch it no more, because it looked terrible,” he said.
The video shows the masked men bursting into the jewelry store, firing shot after shot, then smashing Wilson’s glass case and grabbing what they could. They only took three trays of jewelry, according to police.
Wilson said he managed to fire a shot too, nearly striking one robber, in a final effort to save himself, his son, and a business that took more than 20 years to build.
“I put a lot of work into it. To see this happen, it's devastating,” he said.
Wilson had just been robbed about six weeks earlier, and put off showing jewelry until Christmas Eve to be safe. He asks anyone with information about the incident to speak with police.
Police said the robbers took off in a dark gray Chevy Traverse with tinted windows. They ask anyone with information on the case to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.