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NYC Musician Loses Eye in Vicious Hammer Attack

Dru Barnes is expected to go through three more surgeries

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Brooklyn musician is recovering from a brutal street attack in which he was beaten with a hammer so viciously that he lost an eye. Police are still looking for the attacker. Brynn Gingras reports.

    A Brooklyn man has a long road to recovery after a man bludgeoned him with a hammer in an attack so vicious he lost an eye.

    Dru Barnes, a musician, was walking home to Fort Greene from a friend's house in Bedford-Stuyvesant last week when he got lost, he said. Police believe the attacker followed him for a block before he struck, hitting Barnes in the eye.

    The friend Barnes had just been visiting rushed to his hospital bedside.

    "I arrive two hours later at the trauma unit, and there is Dru on a gurney. It was horrific, it was like a horror movie," Gerrit Vooren told NBC 4 New York.

    At the hospital bed, Vooren recorded Barnes' recollection of the attack.

    "I'm not sure what the motive was," Barnes says in the video, groggy from pain medication.

    Police don't know, either. Authorities don't think it was a hate crime or a robbery. They have some surveillance video, witness reports and the hammer, but no identity of the attacker.

    On Wednesday, they released a sketch of the possible suspect (below).

    "This guy's on the loose, this can happen again. Clearly, he's deranged," said Vooren.

    Barnes says he's relying on his Buddhist faith to get him through the multiple surgeries that are ahead.

    His friends have set up a Facebook page to help pay for the costs.

    More than money though, they want information to help catch the perpetrator and prevent it from happening to someone else. 

    Anyone who recognizes the suspect in the sketch is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.