In the seconds leading up to the terrifying attack, Brennan Schwab said he tried to avoid looking at the man who was about to shoot him in the face. Instead, the 18-year-old was blasted in the eye by someone who he says is a complete stranger.
It was around 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 when Schwab was walking back to a friend’s house in the Mayfair neighbourhood near Avenue C North. He said he glimpsed a suspicious-looking person in the distance, and averted his gaze in order to avoid a possible confrontation.
But when he eventually looked up, Schwab said the man pulled out a gun and shot him in the face — without saying a word.
“All I remember is just getting up off the ground and at that time I was just like ‘I don’t wanna lay here and die’,” he said.
Schwab said he ran a few blocks to his friend’s house, holding his jacket up to his face.
“I was just feeling this numb feeling and my ears were just ringing and ringing and ringing. I was just in shock.”
Schwab’s mother Nicole said she was told her son was hit with shotgun pellets. He’ll need at least two more surgeries after it caused major damage to his left eye, pushing it back into his skull, she said.
Schwab said it’s very hard to believe something this random happened to him.
“I would like people to know that I didn’t do anything to deserve it. People are saying that there’s all these reasons why I could have got shot but the reality is, (it was) the wrong place at the wrong time and you just got to watch your surroundings,” he said.
Police released information about the shooting last week, and Schwab hopes they can track down a suspect despite his limited memory. The teen said not only did everything happen quickly, the shooter was also covering his face, making it hard for Schwab to convey a clear description.
Anybody who may have witnessed the shooting is asked to contact police. In the meantime, Jackie Giesbrecht has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her friend, who is a single mother of four.
“Nicole is doing it all on her own and she’s been missing work because she’s looking after her son,” Giesbrecht said. “Brennan is a really good kid and I figured why not help these people out.”