HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Two victims of the West University shopping center mass shooting on Monday remain in the hospital. A doctor who was critically injured is exclusively telling his survival story to FOX 26 News. Visiting with Dr. Kevin Chap in his room at Ben Taub Hospital, the Houston anesthesiologist shared with FOX 26 how in one minute he was driving to work, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and in the next, he was wounded and bleeding profusely.
"I started hearing some sounds like bang, bang, bang, bang, bang,” recalls Dr. Chap.
"I just felt this big bang on my chest," explains Dr. Chap. "My hands were all bloody and I realized I got hit in the neck. Then I looked up at my windshield and I see this huge bullet hole right in my windshield, right in front of me. My arm went numb. I kind of blacked out.”
Before he knew it, Dr. Chap was staggering from his car and screaming for help.
“About 15 feet ahead of me, I saw about three or four police officers in active gunfire with the suspect and they were shooting kind of in my direction," says Dr. Chap. "I realized I was smack dab in the middle of the gunfire and I needed to do something to get out of there."
After only a few steps, Dr. Chap says he collapsed on the pavement.
"I just saw my life flash before my eyes," describes Dr. Chap. "I thought that was it. I thought I was going to die."
Dr. Chap says he prayed and a police officer answered his prayers.
“They were still in active gunfire and he put his life on the line to run across the street and get me out of there and he didn't have to do that but he did.” The officer picked the doctor up off the ground and got him to a waiting ambulance.
The Houston-based anesthesiologist, who normally cares for patients, suddenly became one. The bullet that hit him went into his neck, through his lung and lodged in his back where it remains.
"It didn't hit anything major and I just started balling because I know the chances of that (the bullet missing major arteries and vital organs) are so slim," says Dr. Chap. He has undergone several surgeries and blood transfusions.
"I feel amazing," adds Dr. Chap. "Pain is nothing. I'll get through this."
“I’m relieved," says Lorinna Heng, Dr. Chap's wife. "I’m just ready for him to come home so I can take care of him.” Heng adds that she is grateful that her husband and all of the mass shooting victims are alive.
So many Houston-area residents share that same sentiment and they are finding a way to share their support for Dr. Chap. The couple's eldest daughter's entire class, for instance.wrote letters to him.
"He was reading them yesterday and tearing up,” explains Heng.
Police still don't know why struggling Houston attorney Nathan DeSai, 46, opened fire on his neighbors in West University. He fired dozens of shots, leaving nine people injured. DeSai was shot and killed by police after a gun battle with officers.
"God has a plan for everyone," says Dr. Chap. "Maybe that was my wake up call to put things in focus. Nothing is guaranteed in life. It doesn't matter who you are, what you're doing, what neighborhood you live in we're all just blessed to wake up every morning. This incident is a sharp realization for me that I should not take for granted anymore of my life.”
Dr. Chap believes everything happens for a reason and he says so many people coming together after such a tragedy is part of “God’s plan.”
“It isn’t often no one is killed in a mass shooting," says Dr. Chap. "I just want people to know sometimes these stories do have happy endings. Just unite as a community, that's also part of God's plan to show us we are stronger as a unit than we are divided and nobody, not one person can take that away from us. It's just an unbelievable feeling. I have a second lease on life and I have to take advantage of that. God kept me here because He has more He wants me to do.”
Dr. Chap is expected to be released from the hospital next week.