MIAMI (CBS4) – Neil Wilson thought his life was over.
“I was bleeding,” he told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “I thought I was gonna die. It was scary, man.”
Wilson was at work at his North Miami jewelry store inside the 7th Avenue Flea Market on Christmas Eve when 5 men with covered faces walked in. One stands guard at the door while another takes a crowbar to a display case. Three other men start shooting.
“I hear the uproar then I look up and I look into their guns,” he said. “I see my son rush in to the back and I start to run to follow him too.”
During a hail of bullets, Wilson got shot in the back of his right shoulder. He said he feared the men might pursue him to finish him off.
“I thought they were gonna come over the counter so I got really scared,” he said.
Wilson’s family said police told them they counted at least 17 bullets in the store.
In the chaos, the thieves ran out they apparently realized they forgot to steal anything. One of the men rushes back in, grabs jewelry and almost gets his head taken off by a round from Wilson’s gun.
“To just take everything like that, that’s disgusting,” Wilson said.
Wilson says he was robbed just a few weeks before. He said he stopped putting out real jewelry until the day he was robbed.
Wilson faces a long recovery but he’s grateful to be alive and to be with his family. He says justice is his focus now.
“These guys need to be put behind bars,” he said. “They’re not supposed to be on the street.”
Wilson is not sure that he’ll ever return to his business and he wants the armed robbers caught and put in jail.
If you know who these men are call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.