MIAMI, Fla. – Benjamin “Ben” Williams traveled from North Carolina to Miami for his younger brother’s Christmas Eve wedding. The retired U.S. Marine who now works as a U.S. Postal Service carrier was his brother’s best man. The trip turned into a nightmare on Christmas Day.
Williams was at Northwest Eighth Avenue and 70th Street in Miami’s Liberty City when bullets started flying. He said his eight years of service with the U.S. Marine Corps prepared him to survive the life-threatening wound in the chest.
“I just start hearing ‘Pew, Pew,’ and I was already hit,” Williams said. “I had to have been hit with one of the first bullets they shot.”
The father of six put pressure on the wound, and when he realized they couldn’t wait for Miami Fire Rescue personnel to arrive, he rushed his older brother to start driving to Jackson Memorial Hospital where doctors were still treating him on Wednesday.
“With my military training, I didn’t panic. I just reacted,” Williams said.
Despite the wound, Williams walked into the hospital. He underwent several surgeries, and he is feeling really grateful for the healthcare staff at JMH.
“The compassion, the love these people showed me, they made me feel like I was a celebrity,” Williams said.
Williams is hoping doctors release him on Thursday, so he can celebrate his 41st birthday outside of the hospital. Delexious Curtis set up a Gofundme page to raise $5,000 to help Williams pay his medical bills.
“The doctors and nurses have been taking very good care of him,” Curtis wrote on the page. “We are so lucky because this could have played out so differently.”
Williams, who grew up in Miami, said he still doesn’t know who shot him or why. The shooter also damaged his pickup truck, which he used to drive to Miami. Detectives urge anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-8477.