"I donâ??t think I'm a hero. I just did what I had to do."
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 18:39:06 GMT —
This is the boxing event that Lawrence Gabriel was not supposed to be watching from his wheelchair.
Just a month ago, five people were shot at McAvan's Pub and Gabriel--who was the bouncer that night--was one of them.
He said it started out as a normal night until he noticed a guy with a gun.
"He shot me in the leg and I went down. Then he shot me again which I'm assuming hit me in my stomach. As he walked away, he turned around and hit me in my arm. I pretty much just laid there," said Lawrence Gabriel.
This all happened days after he signed with a boxing agency. Last night would have been his debut as a professional at his very first heavy weight match.
"That next day it was Sunday. He was supposed to spar at our gym in Syracuse. I got a phone call that he was in the hospital and he was very seriously injured from gun shot wounds," Jay K Johnson says.
Many friends and family came out to support and give donations.
"It's a blessing. We're all very happy and thankful that everyone's alright and able to make it out of this," said Gabriel's close friend, Douglas Spossey.
The community has been referring to him as the 'McAvan Pub Hero.' But, it's not a title he relates to.
"People like to go up to military and thank them, but I never knew how to react to that because I signed up for that. I pretty much did my job. People call me a hero, but I don't think I'm a hero. I just did what I had to do," Gabriel says.
Even though he watched the match from a wheelchair...Gabriel says he's still determined as ever to get back in the ring within a year.