Manager recalls brush with death

December 29, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Tom Coryell says it all took about 20 seconds, but he'll remember those moments for the rest of his life."I thought I'd been shot at first because of the pain on the side of my head," he recalled.

Coryell is a manager at the Short Stop convenience store near the intersection of Ramsey Street and Rosehill Road. He was coming into work Monday when a man walked up to him and demanded his money.

"That's when he brandished the gun and, uh, my initial instinct was to knock the gun away, which is what I did. He reached down and picked it up and I moved away from him and he did a good tackle on me," said Coryell.

Coryell, 63, and the gunman scuffled on the ground for a little bit and then the gun went off. He believes the weapon accidentally fired when his attacker pistol whipped him in his head.

"What went through my mind was 'make him think you're dead,' and he left," said Coryell.

Now, the manager is resting at home with a minor head injury and other scrapes and bruises. Despite his brush with death, Coryell says he would forgive his attacker and hopes this incident causes him to change his life.

"Because I really believe that God kept that bullet from entering my body. Whether it was intentional on his part to shot me, or whether it was just a reaction from the pistol whip, God directed that bullet and protected him from really hurting somebody badly," Coryell offered.


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