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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – He speaks softly but the words Bryan Perez speaks carry a burden far beyond his 20 years.
Perez was severely injured in an attempted home invasion and a shooting.
“I know from here on in the future I’m not going to be able to do all the things I wanted to do,” Perez told members of the news media at Miami-Dade Police Headquarters on Friday.
He went on to describe the moments after the shooting which put him in a wheelchair with no use of his left leg and minimal use of his right.
“As soon as they put me to sleep, I thought that was the last breath I was gonna take. And when I woke up I told my mom, ‘Damn, I’ve been asleep for 20 minutes’ and she said ‘No you’ve been asleep for 4 days’.”
Perez and his cousin, Sebastian Antequera, were sitting in an enclosed porch in front of their residence in northeast Miami-Dade the night of August 18th when police say three smiling young men, caught on surveillance video, approached them.
“All of a sudden they just came with three guns,” said Perez. “Then they kept trying to break into my house but I wouldn’t let them. Like they kept trying to shove me into my house.”
Determined to protect his mother and pregnant girlfriend who were inside the home, Bryan fought them off and shut his apartment’s sliding glass door.
Before the shooters ran off they opened fire on Bryan behind the glass, he was hit by six bullets.
“The moment they shot me everything went black to me. I didn’t feel my legs. I fell straight to the ground,” Perez recalled.
He said the recovery has been excruciating.
“There are days that I just wanted to cut my legs off and not go through this pain.”
Perez, who used to love to play basketball, now questions whether he will ever be able to stand.
“I wanted to be an electrician and open up an electrician business but first I have to recover and see if I’m able to walk again.”
He hopes anyone who recognizes the suspects from the surveillance video will call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
“They basically took my life away,” said Perez.
Perez said he registered for Miami-Dade College just hours before he was shot. He said he hopes to re-enroll at some point once he recovers. That, said, helps keep him going. He also has something else to look forward to – the birth of his baby boy in February.
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