EXCLUSIVE: Star workplace shooting survivor saved coworker
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.C. — The lone survivor of the McBride Lumber Company shooting in Star said he saved one of his coworkers by pushing him out of the way.
Florentino Tellez Aparicio, 21, of Candor, was the only one of the four coworkers shot by coworker Ronald Davis who survived the Jan. 13 shooting. The other victims, Jose Galdino Lopez Izquierdo, 25, Daniel Thomas Davis, 32, and Eusebio Diaz Gomez, 34, died.
Florentino, who speaks little English, shared his story exclusively with FOX8’s Brandon Jones Thursday with the translation help of his cousin, Cesar Trejo.
Trejo has been taking care of Florentino around the clock since the shooting. Florentino called Trejo after running to a neighbor’s home shortly after the shooting started.
Florentino said the shooting suspect, Ronald Davis, 50, of Ether, got out of his vehicle and started shooting. Florentino and others took off running.
Florentino said he pushed one of his coworkers out of the way, and he ended up taking a bullet. It entered through his back and exited through his chest.
Part of his lung is gone, and doctors had to repair his diaphragm. Florentino is still in a lot of pain and faces months of therapy.
But Trejo said it could have been a lot worse.
“He was lucky, because he said that guy shot around five or six times,” Trejo said.
And though Florentino said the scars will haunt him forever, he’s not afraid to go back to work.
“I think God gave him an opportunity to live, so he has to,” Trejo said.
Doctors have not yet told Florentino when he can return to work.
Florentino also disputed reports from a letter found in Davis’ home, which accused him and other coworkers of making fun of him in Spanish.
“(Florentino) said, ‘He don’t know what he’s talking about because he never talked to him in Spanish,'” Trejo said. “They used to get along pretty good and worked together as a team.”
Davis was found at his small cabin near his workplace with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He died at the hospital the day after the shooting.