A 34-year-old Omaha lawyer says he’s lucky to be alive after Wednesday’s shooting at an Omaha mall. Jeff Schaffart talked about his ordeal during an interview in his home last night with The New York Times.
"I would say that I’m probably the luckiest one of anyone that got shot…There’s a bruise on my armpit here from where it went through…for as close as it was to my heart, to major arteries, major veins there I was incredibly fortunate," Schaffart said. "…I think I was probably hit with two bullets because I got the finger and up here (on his arm). It would have ricocheted, I mean I’m not a forensic expert so I don’t know, but I think I probably got shot twice."
Schaffart was shopping with his wife when he heard what he thought were balloons popping, but he now knows they were gunshots. His wife hid inside a rack of clothing while he walked a few feet away and took refuge in the women’s restroom. "At that time I realized, oh crap, I’ve been shot," Schaffart said. Schaffart had been hit in the arm and in a finger.
"I took my dress shirt off and used my tie as a tourniquet on my upper left shoulder. The women helped me with holding my hand up and applying pressure on the wound here and the finger wound as well," he said. "We sat in there for what seems like an eternity." Schaffart didn’t see the gunman.
"I suppose I maybe would have seen him beforehand, but if I did, I didn’t make a note of him," he said. "It doesn’t stick in my mind at all." Schaffart isn’t quite sure why he’d been so calm during the ordeal, but he expects he’ll have to "come to grips" with the "sheer luck" that he wasn’t shot and killed as others were.