Yankton shooting victim speaks out, says he's "grateful to be here"

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT
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One of the victims of a shooting in Yankton last week is now speaking out.

The incident happened March 2nd, when police were called to an apartment complex where shots were fired, leaving two injured and a suspect on the loose.

The events of that Monday night have forever changed the life of Tyler Spears, as gunfire from a masked man severely injured his friend, and left Tyler without part of his right arm.

As Spears reflects on the events of that night, he can only be thankful things didn't end up worse.

"I just have a different outlook on life now, I'm grateful to be here," Spears said.

Tyler's mother, Pamela Stewart, says this past week has been a roller coaster of emotions.

"I'm just glad I wasn't making funeral plans," Stewart said.

Spears said he, along with four others, were at his apartment that Monday night when a man wearing a mask broke down his door, wielding an assault rifle.

"I come out of my room and I see him pointing the gun," Spears said. "I see the gun aiming into the living room and my friend is on the floor yelling my name."

At that moment, Tyler's fight or flight instinct kicked in, he was determined to protect his friends.

"So as soon as I see that, I grab the gun with my right arm and I kicked him out of my apartment," Spears said.

But the danger wasn't over, as Tyler continued to wrestle with the unknown attacker.

During the scuffle, Tyler says he took a bullet in the shoulder and his friend was shot three times in the stomach. Fortunately, the scrum was enough to chase off the intruder.

"So my arm was straight back, like vertical with the gun, the bullet went in my shoulder and exploded out my elbow," Spears said.

Though the incident only lasted minutes, the events are vivid in Tyler's mind, and the wounds will be with him for the rest of his life.

"It's going to be a long, long road," Stewart said. "He's not sleeping, I get phone calls from him all night long, he can't sleep, he's in pain," Stewart said.

Tyler says he's glad he did what he did, and that if he had to do it again, he'd do it the same way.

Dakota News Now did reach out to the Yankton Police Department to get details on the case, but they would not comment on the situation because it's an ongoing investigation.

Tyler tells me he does not have insurance to pay for his treatment, and cannot work because of his injuries. There is a

page set up in Tyler's name if you wish to donate.