SACRAMENTO, CA - The owner of a downtown Sacramento pawn shop is recovering after he was shot in the face during an attempted robbery two weeks ago.
The bullet pierced Jesse Figueroa's right cheekbone.
"I was just shot in the face; at gun point robbed," Figueroa recounted. "That's about it."
Figueroa nonchalantly describes the terrifying ordeal. But he was anything but nonchalant in the moments during the attempted armed robbery of La Paloma Cash & Gold. Immediately after he was shot in the face, Figueroa ran after the suspect and fired back. Those gunshots likely hit the suspect's car.
"It happened so fast," Figueroa said. "Naturally, your instincts of survival kick in. And that's what happened."
In the 10 years Figueroa has owned the pawn shop, he's never been robbed. Figueroa said he knew there were certain risks, but nothing could prepare him, his wife or his two kids for what happened.
"I could see it on their faces, but I always grabbed their hands in the hospital and said 'don't cry, if you cry, I won't make it,'" Figueroa said. "That's what kept me going. The love of my wife and kids."
The 43-year-old was released from the hospital earlier this week. Physically, he still has a long way to go.
"You have to learn how to walk again," Figueroa explained. "Move muscles, talk again."
While police continue to search for his gunman, Figueroa is trying to recover and living with a newfound perspective.
"I'm just happy I got to hug my kids again and I'm alive," Figueroa said. "Not many people survive a head shot. I did and I'm just thankful and that's all."
Figueroa also said he's been touched by the overwhelming support from the community.
He'll be out of work for the next couple of months. The pawn shop has been closed since the shooting.