Shooting

Cody Newman is recovering after being shot three times at a gas station May 7.

A man shot three times at a local gas station is thanking the community for their support and asking that people pray for the man who shot him.

Cody Newman says he doesn’t understand what drove Samuel McDonnell to reportedly shoot at him seven times, but is grateful he survived.

“I believe this happened for a reason. I don’t know what it was,” he said. “I am really thankful for how things turned out — I am alive.”

On the morning of May 7, Newman, branch manager at Griffin’s Propane, said he stopped to get gas at the Giant station on South Beeline Highway before heading to Rye for a reported gas leak.

He says he pulled into the station behind McDonnell, who was driving a white Jeep Cherokee. When McDonnell stopped between two pumps, Newman said he asked McDonnell to move forward so he could pull into the station and get off the Beeline.

Newman, who was driving a white Suburban, said he worried another motorists on the Beeline would hit the rear end of the vehicle.

Newman said McDonnell got “agitated” when he asked him to move and when it became clear he would not pull forward, Newman drove around, stopping at the pump in front of McDonnell’s Jeep.

“It went south from there,” he said.

Newman said he could not go into specifics about the incident since it is still under investigation.

He did say McDonnell tried to ram him twice with the Jeep, striking him once.

He said they yelled back and forth, but never got into a physical altercation.

When Newman saw McDonnell pull out a gun, he ran away, toward the store. He believes McDonnell shot seven times, striking him three times. He was hit in his left scapula, buttocks and a bullet grazed his left shoulder. That bullet hit his sunglasses, which exploded in his face, scratching his left cornea.

One of his lungs was punctured, he fractured his pelvis and he has nerve damage in his shoulder. He says he has no feeling in his left arm between his elbow and fingers and in his left leg between his toes and mid-shin.

Doctors believe he will regain feeling.

“I am hanging in there, I am still alive,” he said Wednesday, speaking from a Valley rehabilitation facility. He was moved into the facility after undergoing surgery.

Newman said he was on the phone with his wife throughout the whole incident.

He never lost consciousness and remembers a man, who he later learned was a retired paramedic, at his side.

“He kept reassuring me the whole time. I didn’t know where I had been shot and I couldn’t see out of one eye. I was trying to cover the holes and keep pressure and he kept me calm,” he said.

Newman said he would like to thank the man one day, but doesn’t know is identity.

Newman said he is asking everyone to pray for McDonnell.

“I will put this in black-and-white so everyone understands, yes I have forgiven Sam and yes he is in my prayers I do not want to hear negative things said about him, he made a poor choice that will be dealt with by the law,” Newman wrote on his Facebook page.

Newman said he wanted McDonnell to pull forward because it is “common courtesy” to do so at a gas station.

Police Chief Don Engler said they reviewed surveillance video from the store and there were empty pumps available at the station at the time.

Newman said after he was flown to the Valley and woke up the morning of May 8 he was grateful to see his wife and know he would survive.

“And knowing that my kids are going to have a dad. And I am still here. I am still alive,” he said. “Even if I don’t get everything back, I can still enjoy my life.”

Newman has six children.

Newman thanked the police, firefighters and paramedics.

“What a wonderful group. They took care of me. They told me, ‘You are not going to die; you are going to live,’” he said. “I can’t say enough good things about the officers and firefighters. They were just amazing.”

There are several community fundraisers planned for Newman, including a golf tournament. A GoFundMe has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/f/for-shooting-victim-cody-newman.

“I am so overwhelmed by the love and support of the community,” he said.

A grand jury indicted McDonnell May 15.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

Editor

Covers breaking news, cops, fire and outdoor recreation.

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