CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Anthony Facey doesn’t have the demeanor you’d expect from someone with two holes in his left shoulder.
As he sat in his bed at his Boone house, he wore a smile and wanted to talk about Harry Potter, his wife Lydia, and why he loved being an Uber driver.
“You get to interact with people, and I love that,” he told Queen City News Tuesday morning during a ZOOM call.
“I get to be their therapist, or we get to just sit and talk, and maybe I help them out, or maybe they help me out,” he said of the past two and a half years on the job.
He also chose to work the late night-early morning shift of Uber pick-ups and drop-offs because he made more money for his April wedding.
His passion and love for his job made it harder to grasp what happened to him Sunday morning. On his final pick-up of a 12-hour Uber workday, Anthony was shot twice in the back and robbed.
Sunday’s confrontation nearly fatal
The bandages were visible while Queen City News spoke with him Tuesday morning, one of which was near his neck where one of the bullets exited.
Anthony explained that a juvenile male had requested a ride around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 3500 block of Cypress Pond Drive.
The 28-year-old Uber driver said, “As soon as he got in, he was super frantic. He started yelling and screaming, ‘Go, go, go. I have to leave.’ (Then) a big white van pulls in front of me, and two people jump out. It’s a man and a woman.”
Police later identified that man was 38-year-old Antwian Turner. Anthony recounted that the man stood in the middle of the street and pointed a gun at him.
“He said, ‘Get out of the car, my son is in that car,’” Facey recounted.
The juvenile passenger allegedly told Anthony, “‘I do know him; that’s my dad. He’s kind of crazy; the worst thing you could do is stop the vehicle.’”
In the chaos that followed, Anthony drove around the two people to get to safety. But, he heard three gunshots — two of them he later realized entered his shoulder.
“I tried to raise my left arm, but it wouldn’t go up,” Facey said. “It was weird, it felt like I had raised it but it was still hanging down.”
With the passenger still in the vehicle, Facey managed to drive two miles to another location before he started to lose consciousness.
“I told the kid to call 9-1-1, and he said he was,” Anthony remembered. “Then, five minutes later, I realized that he still hadn’t called 9-1-1 . . . he kept saying I had only been grazed.”
Anthony called 9-1-1 but said that the juvenile passenger tried to stop him and even tried to talk over him as he spoke with a dispatcher.
“He just kept saying ‘I can’t be here.’…He got out and came over to my door, and asked to borrow $25. I said, ‘Bro, I’ve been shot.’ He said, ‘That’s okay.’”
Then, it got worse. Facey said the passenger opened his car door and stole his wallet, running into the nearby woods.
‘A Chance You Won’t Wake Up’
All this plays out like a nightmare that the Uber driver relieves every time he closes his eyes.
“Every time I close my eyes, I still hear the gunshots. . . Even though I don’t react or show it, I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared in my life.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police were able to arrest both individuals quickly after the shooting and robbery.
Turner faces charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon causing bodily harm and shooting into a moving vehicle. Police won’t release the status of the juvenile due to age.
Paramedics treated Anthony in time and transported him to the hospital, where he underwent surgery. Later, Facey learned that the bullet came close to killing him.
“If you get shot and you go to sleep, then there’s a chance you won’t wake up,” Facey said. “I don’t know. I’m grateful to God. I believe strongly that he’s got this and guided those bullets because there is no way. There is no way that one centimeter to the right (and I’d be dead). I would’ve been gone without saying anything.”
Anthony has called his survival a miracle and one he does not plan to waste. He’s not ready to give up the driving job just yet with the wedding ahead. However, he’s looking forward to his post-Uber life.
Did Sunday’s events change the way he looks at others? Absolutely not.
“I can’t lose hope in people,” Facey said. “. . . You’re going to have bad things happen to you. But how you come out of them and the outlook that you have toward the future defines who you are as a person.”
To find out how to send support through prayers or words of encouragement to Anthony and Lydia, click here.