John Lee says he’s convinced they would have killed him if he hadn’t had his gun. Lee was talking from his hospital bed Wednesday about the three armed robbers who ambushed him in the parking lot of his Palmetto Bay apartment complex, shooting him four times as he fired back with his own pistol.

“They told me ‘give it up,’ but they didn’t give me a chance. They just shot,” Lee said as he lay sedated in his Ryder Trauma Center bed with bandages covering his abdomen, left arm and left hand. Lee was set upon as he got out of his car at the Royal Coast apartment complex where he lives shortly after midnight Tuesday morning.

Lee said the bandits gave him no opportunity to comply with their demands before two of them started shooting.

“The first bullet caught me in the hand and spun me around,” Lee said. “I reached for it. I started firing my gun. I must have gotten hit a couple more times, but I didn’t feel it at the time. I just started firing back, and the guys ran off.”

Lee said he was concerned for his wounded arm and hand, unaware that two slugs had hit him in the gut.

“I looked down at my shirt and I saw blood spewing everywhere. I took off my shirt and that’s when I knew I was hit.”

Lee, a father of four and a supervisor at Sam’s Club where he has worked for ten years, got a permit to carry a concealed weapon several years ago.

“It’s rough out there. You never know. So I decided to get my concealed weapon permit, hoping I’d never have to use it.”

Lee says he drew his gun, a Glock semi-automatic pistol, only after the robbers started shooting. He’s convinced the attackers, who made no attempt to conceal their faces, would have killed him had he not been armed.

“If I hadn’t had my gun on me, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now,” Lee said. “They would have finished me off.”

Lee said he does not routinely carry the gun on him, but decided to tuck it into his waistband Tuesday morning because he was getting home late after a long day at work, followed by a visit to see a sick relative.

Source: Gary Nelson for CBS4.

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