In an exclusive phone interview from his hospital bed Tuesday, Albert McDuffie described to News4’s Shomari Stone how his life has changed since being shot in a store robbery in northeast Washington.
“I'm still here. I'm still breathing," said McDuffie, a father of two who is currently paralyzed from the waist down. "My kids still see me. My family still sees me.”
Police said Ricky Vinston walked into the Rite Aid pharmacy on Rhode Island Avenue on April 13, pulled out a gun and pointed it at McDuffie.
Police said Vinston demanded McDuffie to open the register and then shot him in the back, hitting McDuffie's spleen and kidney.
“I dropped and instantly lost feeling in my legs because I was trying to get up,” McDuffie said. “I was like, ‘Man, I can't believe you just shot me.’”
McDuffie said he can’t believe the suspect stole some candy and calmly walked out of the store.
Police caught Vinston and charged him with assault with intent to kill while armed. Court records show he has a long criminal history.
McDuffie still speculates on why he was shot, but doesn’t have any regrets over how he handled things.
“I mean, maybe I didn't move fast enough,” McDuffie said. “Stuff like this -- it happens I don't have any remorse over how it happened. I'm still here. I'm in great spirits. I'm just trying to get back on my feet.”
While he waits for his next court hearing, McDuffie relies on faith to calm the storm.
“Without faith in God, without faith in my family, without prayers, from everybody, I probably wouldn't be here right now. “