Michael Hale is still recovering from the injuries he incurred in the deadly shooting on his friend. He says he was just visiting his friend Edmond James Tyree at his apartment near Melrose and Rockwell on July 17, when a man burst in and pointed a gun at his face.
Police have arrested a suspect, Antwion Martin, for the shooting, after Hale was able to positively identify him from a Facebook photo.
"And it was premeditated," said Hale. "He sat there long enough thinking about it that he knew exactly what he was doing."
Hale says he firmly believes there is a reason he survived this shooting. He says the man who shot and killed his friend would have gotten away with murder had he not been there. And Hale says his friend James is the one who actually saved his life.
"Seconds after he shot James, he shot me," said Hale.
The bullet shattered his right arm and ended up lodged in his back, dangerously close to his spinal cord. He now has to wear a special contraption every day to strengthen his hand and fingers. He also wears his gun on him at all times, all because of the shooting.
"I don't go anywhere without my pistol," said Hale. "I have a license to carry. It's open carry. It stays on my side at all times."
Hale says it was a Facebook photo he saw in the hospital that helped him positively identify Martin as the shooter.
"He just kept staring at me," said Hale. "And I just said to myself, ‘If this is a robbery, I want to be able to ID this guy.' So I studied everything about his face, just everything [about it]."
But it turns out robbery was not the motive. According to court records, Martin admitted to having a dispute with James Tyree, all over a Facebook comment Tyree had made about a picture of Martin's girlfriend wearing a bathing suit.
Hale says his friend James yelled at Martin ‘Hey! I know you!' Hale claims that's when Martin pointed the gun at Tyree and pulled the trigger. He says that gave him just enough time to try to get away before he was shot too.
"He had me just like this," said Hale, as he demonstrated what happened. "And if I had stayed there, he would've killed me."
Hale says he just wishes more could have been done to save his friend James.
"I was yelling for people to give him CPR because he was gasping for air," said Hale. "He didn't deserve to die."
Police are still looking for two other men who Hale says were with Martin during the shooting. Hale says he will testify if the case goes to trial.