An innocent bystander whose face was grazed by a bullet in a deadly shooting in Vancouver on Saturday night is sharing his story.
“Ralph,” who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, was lucky: the gunfight left two other people dead.
Both Alfred Wong, an innocent 15-year-old on his way home to Coquitlam with his parents, and 23-year-old Kevin Whiteside, a known drug trafficker died in hospital days after the attack.
On Tuesday, Ralph joined CKNW’s Lynda Steele and John Daly to talk about his experience.
Ralph said it was an ordinary Saturday night, he’d just had a haircut and a friend was driving him west on Broadway, when he heard a bang.
“We actually thought it was a firework, as anybody would — so I looked to my right I saw a person wearing a dark hoodie just shooting straight ahead,” he said.
“It was like bang, bang, bang. There were no skips in between, it just kept going.”
Ralph said he told his friend to step on the gas, and the pair drove away as quickly as they could. It wasn’t until they stopped that he realized the rear driver’s side window had been smashed out.
They called 911, and when police arrived gave their report. It was only then that Ralph realized he’d almost died.
“The police actually pointed out that there was a bullet hole in the headrest where I was sitting, and it just grazed my face,” he said.
“It happened so fast I thought I might have a hole in my face or something, but I got so lucky.”
Since then, Ralph has been having trouble sleeping — managing just a few hours a night, and drinking as much chamomile tea as he can to calm his nerves.
His car is still in the possession of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), where he says specialists are doing ballistics tests.
He added that the car has bullet holes in one side of the car, while the man they saw shooting was on the other side — meaning he likely got hit by a second shooter who remains at large.
WATCH: Two people dead after Vancouver shooting
He said the idea that the other shooter is still out there worries him, and he hopes they don’t know who he is.
Having had several days to reflect on the shooting, Ralph said he’s also increasingly disturbed that someone would open fire on a busy street like Broadway.
“Very selfish,” he said. “There’s no excuse whatsoever to be shooting at each other.”
He said the remaining shooter should turn himself in, if only to give closure to the grieving family of the 15-year-old victim.
As for himself, Ralph said he’s taking his brush with death as a blessing, and a reminder that life is fleeting.
“This life is short, and you never know what’s going to happen. Just be careful, because you never know.”