Man at center of Food Lion shooting speaks out

February 22, 2012 8:21:25 PM PST
A Wake County man is speaking out for the first time about the night he nearly lost his life.

Jason Jeffery was shot by his lover inside a Food Lion store in Wendell. Now, he's reliving that night of horror and revealing details that have never been heard before.

"I remember that night. They asked me when they were carrying me out on the stretcher, they was like, 'who did this to you?' And I couldn't say it," said Jeffery.

Jeffery is still healing from the physical and emotional wounds he suffered Dec. 7. That's the night his boyfriend, Tariq Taylor, walked into the grocery store and started shooting.

"I could tell I was shot up pretty badly cause, as I was dragging myself, there was a line, like the blood was following me, just a pool of blood," said Jeffery.

Jeffery says he and Taylor started dating in 2010.

"We had our ups and downs at times, but we always stayed by each other's side," he said. "We was always together."

They were often fishing at Little River Park in Zebulon, or at an Occupy Raleigh protest in October, where Taylor was arrested by police.

"He was an amazing guy," said Jeffery. "He stood up for what he believed in."

However, sometimes he stood toe to toe with Jeffery.

"Sometimes we would have fights, and sometimes it would get physical," recalled Jeffery. "I wouldn't say he would beat me. He would hit me and I would hit him back."

And after a morning argument on Dec. 7, Taylor showed up at the Food Lion where Jeffery worked.

"He just told me to please come with him," said Jeffery.

And when Jeffery wouldn't go, things went bad fast. Jeffery remembers a commotion and then being shoved into an office with two other employees, who tried to block the secure door, but bullets started flying through it.

"There was a vent on the bottom of the door and I guess he was shooting through that," said Jeffery. "I could hear everybody screaming and then I could hear the two girls in the room screaming with me and I was just holding the door and I remember I looked back and they were just, they were lying on the floor screaming in pain and I could see blood. I kept holding the door and I felt something hit my leg, but it didn't feel like, I could still stand, and I was still holding the door but then my foot just, I couldn't feel it anymore and I fell backwards and I hit the ground really hard. Once I fell on the ground, I slid back behind the safe and I just, I huddled in the fetal position and then, it all stopped."

Jeffery was shot in the back and both legs.

"They took out my spleen, my kidney, part of my pancreas," said Jeffery.

He and the other two shooting victims survived. Taylor did not. He ran to a nearby barn and killed himself. It was almost more than Jeffery, who was hospitalized for weeks, could bear.

"I wanted him there more than anything," said Jeffery.

As he moves on with his recovery, and his life, Jeffery wants everyone to know that he's not angry.

"I keep his memories," said Jeffery. "There's a piece of him I'll always keep in my heart."

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