HIS face bloodied after being shot in the face five times, including three bullets that remain lodged in flesh and bone, shooting victim James Myers was already able to lift himself above his predicament and allow himself to be happy he was still alive.
And just 37 hours after he was wheeled into John Hunter Hospital’s emergency department with blood seeping from the wounds, the 30-year-old checked himself out and left to see family.
‘‘I must admit I gave myself a little high-five when I realised the worst had passed and I was still alive,’’ Mr Myers told the Newcastle Herald on Monday.
‘‘I feel lucky, the police said to me they couldn’t believe I was shot in the face five times and was still talking to them.’’
Mr Myers admits the pain was excruciating - one bullet smashed through his front teeth and remains lodged under his tongue; another hit above his forehead and remains embedded in his skull just above his brain; and a third went through his right cheek and finished under his ear.
All will need to be removed once the swelling goes down.
‘‘If one was higher or one was lower or one was little to the side, they say I was in real trouble,’’ he said.
But any happiness has been cooled by the news that another alleged victim, Luke Convery, continues his fight for life after being shot twice as he slept, allegedly by the same gunman.
The pair had been dating sisters, Rebecca Cameron and Rebecca Rook, when the former partner of Ms Cameron is alleged to have broken into the Jesmond home where the couples were sleeping and shot the two men.
Mr Convery, 21, remained on life support on Monday with two bullets lodged in his brain after he was allegedly attacked as he lay asleep on the couch with his girlfriend.
His aunt, Amanda O’Brien, said her nephew appeared to be reacting to the voices of his mother and sister.
His grieving family remained in hope as his alleged shooter, Barry Keven Pobje, briefly faced Newcastle Local Court on Monday charged with two counts of attempted murder and several other charges.
Mr Pobje, 31, of Lachlan Street, Windale, did not apply for bail and appeared to wink at relatives as he walked into the court room.
He is alleged to have used a .22 calibre rifle to shoot both the men and was arrested in Lambton not long after the incident allegedly carrying a rifle which was out of ammunition.
‘‘This is happening in Newcastle, it’s not Sydney, it’s not Redfern, it’s not America. This is Newcastle,’’ Ms O’Brien said outside court.
‘‘...[Luke] is a good boy. He fell in love and tried to make a happy life and give he everything that a man should give a woman.
‘‘He does not deserve to be in that hospital bed.’’
Mr Convery only decided late on Sunday to stay at his girlfriend’s sister’s house after a day out and about.
He and Ms Rook, 21, fell asleep on the couch while Ms Cameron and Mr Myers retired to a bedroom.