An Arizona man was shot at 16 times when he got caught in the crossfire of warring gangs along the southern border — but he doesn’t have much ill will toward the gunmen who put his life in danger.
Craig Ricketts was wounded when he was shot twice — in the leg and the arm — as he attempted to drive from Mexico to Tempe, Arizona, to visit his son on Christmas Eve, according to a report.
He told Arizona Family he was traveling in northwestern Sasabe — a precarious border route — because of a closure at the Lukeville checkpoint when the shooting started, leading to at least 16 gunshots from smuggling gangs hitting his car.
“The first thing I noticed was my left window was shattered. I saw a bullet hole through my front window, and my radio was blown out with a bullet,” he told the station from his Tucson hospital bed this week.
“I got hit once in my arm, which feels like a bicycle scrape when you’re a kid, and the other is my left leg,” Ricketts also said.
The Attorney General’s Office in Sonora said the shooting was the second time an American was caught in the middle of violence in the last month, the outlet reported.
Ricketts initially wanted to get around the closed Lukeville checkpoint by crossing the border at Nogales, but his GPS reportedly led him toward the Sasabe entry point in Sonora where the Department of State advises Americans to avoid the area because of crime.
The Christmas Eve shooting comes a week after a US resident was killed and two other people were wounded in a shooting along a Sonora highway, the Arizona Republic reported.
Ricketts works in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, building a real estate development and has worked in Mexico for 20 years, Arizona Family reported.
Despite the scary episode, Ricketts apparently wasn’t angered by the gangs that fired the hail of bullets, according to the station.
“The bottom line is they don’t know who I am,” he said. “They just wanted to secure their access for smuggling people.”