Selmont man shot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

Paul Allen Stewart, a 48-year-old resident of the Selmont area, was shot in the hip Saturday morning, leaving him in the hospital over the weekend.

After spending some time in the Vaughan Regional Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, Stewart was released to a main hospital room on late Sunday.

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“I’m going to be laid up here for a while,” he said.

Stewart said he was at his hotel room – where he’s been living for the last six months – when an acquaintance of his knocked on his door. His “friend” asked him to help jump-off his car.

When the Bush Hog employee pulled his truck to their car, he said they demanded his money and his truck.

Both the unidentified men pulled guns. One had an assault rifle. The other carried a pistol.

Stewart said he scrambled to get into his truck to honk the horn and draw attention to the incident. That’s when they opened fire he said.

“I was trying to get in (my truck),” Stewart said from his hospital bed. “They were trying to keep me out.”

He managed to climb into his truck under fire.

“When they started shooting, I cranked it up and left,” he said. I got maybe a mile down the road and pretty much just blacked out at the stop.”

He was hit in the left hip. The bullet – Stewart believes it was a .40 caliber – exited out his right hip. Doctors told him the slug clipped his femoral artery, causing internal bleeding in his leg.

He was later found lying in the road on Highway 80.

“I just stretched out in the middle of Highway 80 hoping somebody would either find me or run over me. I really didn’t care,” he said.

A woman found him and called the police. An ambulance transported him to VRMC.

Police later told him his truck had been hit at least eight times.

“It’s not something I want to do again,” he said.

When he spoke with police first, he thought the robbers had stolen $4 from him.

“Actually, I found my $4,” he said. “When they (Emergency Room doctors) cut my pants off they found it. They didn’t get any money.”

Selma Police Chief Jimmy Martin said the city may see an upsurge in robberies and shootings over the holidays.

“It’s getting right at the holidays and tempers rise,” he said. “The robberies increase during the holidays. We’re going to see a lot of those.”

Martin said he would release information on how citizens could protect themselves at a later date.

As for Stewart, who has no family in the area, he said he was happy to get out of his ordeal alive.

He felt like he was very lucky, even with his wounds.

“I wouldn’t want to try my odds at it again,” he said.