MOUNT VERNON — Nick Wallace said the gunman who shot him last month during a robbery left him with physical injuries, and his family with emotional scars.
The investigation into the shooting is still pending, according to Knox County Sheriff David Barber. On Nov. 29, two men armed with guns entered the garage at the Divan Road home of Wallace’s friend, Frank Thompson, just before 8 p.m.
Wallace said that during the physical altercation which took place, he was shot.
“My lung collapsed, I had some rib fractures and muscle damage in the right chest and right side of my back,” he said.
“He has a broken jaw they had to wire shut,” Wallace said of Thompson, who was beaten.
Both men were taken to Knox Community Hospital by the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department. MedFlight was called to transport Wallace, but the helicopter was grounded due to weather when it reached Knox Community Hospital. The Bladensburg medic transported Wallace to the Ohio State University Medical Center. He was released Friday.
Wallace said he will remain away from his job in the machine shop at Ariel Corp. while he continues to recuperate. He said his coworkers, family and friends have provided a round-the-clock support system.
“24/7 — they’ve been there for me 24/7,” he said Wednesday. “The community has been absolutely great. My family’s been great, friends have been great and the employees at Ariel have been great.”
Wallace credits his mixed martial arts training to his survival.
“That’s what saved my life — the breathing techniques,” he said. “This happened so fast, but my martial arts training kicked in and I fought back. It was instinctive because of my training.”
Wallace said he has studied Taekwondo for a year, and Jujitsu for about six months. He believes he was probably shot because he fought back.
“But they didn’t get away with anything,” he said of the armed robbers.
He said he would caution anyone else faced with an armed attacker to cooperate.
“I’d advise them to listen to the professionals and not fight,” he said.
Wallace said the confrontation did not involve drugs.
“It wasn’t no drug deal done bad; it was a home robbery,” he said. “They came to burglarize.”
Barber declined to disclose details of the investigation, but said his detectives are conducting interviews and gathering information.
Wallace said the experience has left him looking at people differently.
“Right now because of my injuries and because of my experience, I’m looking at everybody and being more cautious,” he said.
Barber said his detectives would like to speak with anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Divan Road area Nov. 29 between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Wallace said he hopes someone with information will come forward so the men who attacked him and Thompson will be caught and punished.
“I want to thank the whole community for their prayers and all their thoughts,” Wallace said.
He said his 13-year-old daughter has handled the ordeal well, but his entire family has been traumatized.
“Everybody was traumatized by it; me, [Thompson], our families and friends,” he said.