‘My life literally flashed before my eyes:’ Tacoma man survives after being shot in face

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — A Tacoma man says he is lucky to be alive after he was shot in the face in Lakewood over the weekend.

It happened in the 1500 block of Portland Avenue on Saturday evening. Damarr Dabney says he and his fiancée, Jessica Mackenzie,  were visiting a friend who had just had a baby.

While Mackenzie went in the house, Dabney stayed in the car to smoke a cigarette. He says he noticed three masked people approaching his car, each holding a gun.

“These three kids creeping up on me with guns. And my life literally flashed before my eyes,” said Dabney.

Lakewood police confirm that Dabney’s car was shot repeatedly. Dabney said his car was hit at least 17 times.

“It felt like I was in a war zone kind of. I’m like, ‘God, please let me live so I can get to my kids,’” said Dabney, a father of three.

Mackenzie said she rushed out after hearing gunfire to see Dabney surrounded by glass and blood coming down his face.

“It was the scariest night of my life,” recalls Mackenzie.

Dabney had been hit in the jaw with a bullet and has bullet fragments in his cheek. He says his injuries will prevent him from returning to work for the foreseeable future.

“My doctor’s telling me go buy a lottery ticket because you’re blessed,” said Dabney. “They say I could’ve been a vegetable if the bullet went any further.”

Mackenzie says she continues to be grateful that he wasn’t killed and that their kids weren’t in the car.

“Where the car got hit the most, is their backseat. Their car seats were in there. It could have been my babies,” said Mackenzie.

Lakewood police are continuing to investigate but no arrests have been made.

Dabney wants to share his story in hopes of convincing others to end the violence.

“Hey, stop the gun violence. Put the guns down,” said Dabney. “These kids are not trained to use guns, but they’re running around like they’re in ‘Call of Duty.’”

The family has created a GoFundMe to help pay for Dabney’s surgeries and a new car for their family.