On August 26, 2007, my 33-year-old uncle, Fredrick Cooper, was brutally shot nine times from his neck to toes. The event was the most tragic experience of my life. To his great fortune and my answered prayers, he survived.
The day began as bright as any sunny summer morning. Our family was having a joyful get together in front of our building, and I found pleasure in the heat, enjoying a little fun in the sun. Everything was going smooth, and we were having a good time when suddenly out of nowhere a tragedy occurred.
I was with the group of kids playing basketball in the street, others were playing football in the field, and most of the adults had formed a group by the barbecue grill. My uncle Cooper was on the phone by the front door when three African-American males walked up on him; they were wearing hoodies and their faces were hidden behind masks. All three of them started shooting at Cooper and together fired 16 shots.
When I heard the gunshots, I ran as fast as I could into the open field and witnessed the three shooters fleeing the scene.
Cooper was hit nine times. Once the shooting stopped, family members immediately dragged my uncle into the building and called the police.
Upon arriving at the hospital, the doctors immediately began hooking up life saving equipment. It is amazing how many things they use to try to keep someone alive.
Unfortunately, he stopped breathing as the doctors tried almost everything to keep him alive. Three of the four physicians in the room lost hope and stopped trying, but one seemed to know how tragic it would be for his family if Cooper died.
She tried the last option of using a defibrillator, but it did not work the first time, nor the second. However, as it is often said, the third time is a charm. My uncle was alive again. Cooper’s life would have ended tragically if the doctor had given up and not tried again.
I never could understand why the doctor had so much hope and the tenacity to revive my uncle. I guess maybe she has a passion for saving lives. I’m glad she does because she prevented a tragic end to the horrible event.
During his recovery, my uncle was in a minor coma. Family members and loved ones visited him every single day. It had taken between two to three weeks before his mom seen him awake from the coma. I was the second person to see him awake. As he began to heal, we were all there to help. It was like training a big baby.
The day Cooper was released from the hospital, he was transported in a wheelchair, but he got up from the chair and started walking slowly, one foot in front of the other. He accomplished his mission by walking all the way to the car.
This tragedy was 12 years ago. My uncle lived to tell his story to countless people. We called him 50cent.
Opinion by Devin Jackson
Interview with Fredrick Cooper
Featured Image Courtesy of Arvell Dorsey Jr.’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Devin Jackson – Used With Permission