FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Recovering and lucky to be alive, those are the words from an innocent bystander shot and nearly killed during a robbery at a check cashing store near Fort Lauderdale last month.
Jorge Aguilar showed CBS4 the scar on his left upper chest where the bullet struck him. He said at first it felt like a “bee sting.” Minutes later, after he lost blood and was loaded into an ambulance, he lost consciousness.
The scar is a constant reminder of August 9th. Aguilar was minding his own business fixing a tire on a truck at a tire repair shop across the street from a Check Cashing Store.
That’s when an accused robber and murderer Stanley Beasley got into a shootout with Broward Sheriff’s deputies. Beasley is accused of holding the clerk, Claire Geffrard, at gunpoint, robbing the store and killing her. Beasley remains in the Broward County Jail without bond.
“The guy came out firing,” Aguilar said in Spanish to CBS4′s Carey Codd. “I was in front. Not only me but a lot of people there, and the bullet hit me.”
Aguilar remembers little after being shot. He was rushed to the Broward General Medical Center, where he spent four weeks. During the first two of them he was in a coma. He said he suffered lung damage and is constantly tired. He is at home recuperating with his wife.
Aguilar said he is sad that Geffrard was shot and killed. She was about to celebrate her son’s first birthday.
“I don’t know why somebody has to take away somebody else’s life for money,” Aguilar said.
As for his wound, Aguilar’s still not sure where the bullet came from — Beasley or a BSO deputy — but he’s hired a lawyer to handle his case. BSO said they’re still investigating where the bullet came from.
Aguilar hopes to get back to construction work so he can start paying off the $200 grand he owes for medical bills. But most of all Aguilar is grateful to be alive.
“What can I tell you? I’m ok and thank God,” he said.