KILLEEN, Texas — 6 News spoke exclusively to the 21-year-old man who was shot at approximately ten times back in early December at the Killeen Mall Sunday evening.
“I just can't thank God enough that he failed his mission. I have dreams. I have things to live for. I’m only 21-years-old. Why do I have to have that taken away from me. No one should have that taken away from them. Everyone has a purpose to be here,” he told 6 News.
The victim, who wanted to remain anonymous for safety reasons, was struck four times and had to undergo two surgeries and spent 11 days in the hospital.
He said he is thankful to be alive and is working on healing physically and mentally.
He told 6 News that the day of the shooting was a regular day at work for him, but that was quickly turned around when an unknown individual came into his workplace at the mall.
"Clocking in you don't ever expect something horrific like that to happen," the victim said.
The 21-year-old told 6 News that he doesn't know who would've done this to him or why. He also said when he saw the unknown individual in the store prior to being shot, nothing seemed 'off.'
"He came in and made a right, looked at shoes and everything and so by me taking notice of that, when he came up to the register I thought he just had a regular question," he said.
The suspect was directly on the other side of the counter with the register when he started firing shots at least ten times at point blank range.
The victim was struck in the stomach, his thigh, his lower leg and his wrist was deeply grazed too.
The 21-year-old is now just wanting justice and peace, but with no one arrested at this point, it is hard to put the situation behind him. He said he is living in fear.
"Watching my surroundings, the way certain people is dressed has me cautious of what are they going to attempt," he told 6 News. "He really made me kind of fear life a little bit."
As he is on the long road to recovery, the victim says there is something greater out there to learn from his violent encounter.
"It probably would be the best thing for me to never find out why he did it -- just probably a situation that God put me through to open up my eyes on what's better, or what's out there for me, what doors are opening," he said.
He's leaning on his family and support system to push forward.
Although a horrific situation, it's taught him a big life lesson in the meantime and he hopes it shows people to not take anything for granted.
"You can go out at any moment and you don't know and so it's like now moving forward don't take nothing in life for granted," he added. "That's what I'm learning, and still got to learn as well."
Killeen Police Department, along with the victim and his family, are asking anyone who was at the mall during the shooting and may have any videos or photos, or information to come forward.
You can help by calling KPD at 254-501-8830 or the Bell County Crime Stoppers at 254-526-(TIPS) 8477.