MIAMI (CBS4) – A North Miami cab driver, who was just one month away from retirement, knows how lucky he is to be alive after being shot in front of his own home during an attempted robbery.
The family of Rabel Jean, 68, invited CBS4 News into his room at Jackson Memorial Hospital.READ MORE: PlanetWatch: Miami Chosen As 1st Major US Location For New Air Quality Monitoring Network
Jean has his head bandaged and a bullet still in his arm.
“I thank God. God bless me,” Jean said from his hospital bed. “God saved my life.”
Jean had just finished driving his taxi on the beach when he returned to his North Miami home at NE 145th Street and NE 7th Avenue around 2 am. But someone else was following him and came up to Jean’s taxi window with a gun.
“He tell me open the door. Open the door. I’m stuck in the car, shoot me first,” Jean said.READ MORE: Hollywood Family Lights ‘Greater & Bigger’ Display After Thief Steals Their 6-Foot Metal Menorah
Jean hit the gas to get away, but crashed his cab into a neighbor’s house. Jean’s daughter was sleeping inside Jean’s home.
“I heard the gun shot. Heard tires squeal, and heard crash,” Mirabelle Jean said. “I ran out thought someone needed help. When look saw taxi realized someone needed help – my father.”
Mirabelle Jean said she found her father hiding in the bushes, full of blood.
“I didn’t know where shot bleeding from head, arm, back… full of blood,” she said.
Now Jean’s in the hospital. Doctors are going to leave the bullet in his arm, a souvenir of his dangerous job as a South Florida cab driver. Jean, a father of eight and a grandfather of 17 said he does not plan to go back to driving a cab, but does plan to retire to his home country of Haiti. His family said his they almost lost so much for so little.
“These people need to be caught. Doesn’t make sense to take innocent man’s life for few hundred dollars,” Mirabelle Jean said. “That’s a cell phone bill, what can you possibly do with that? It’s a blessing he’s still here.”MORE NEWS: Dale Holness Files Lawsuit Seeking To Overturn Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick's Razor-Thin Win
Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.