The 45-year-old dad called his wife to let her know what had happened on his way to Grady Memorial Hospital. During his treatment, hospital staff told him he was at least the 11th gunshot victim taken to Grady this year after a shooting caused by road rage. Several others eventually died.
âThey told me I was extremely lucky,â Phillips said. “Two inches higher and he would have had an artery.” Lower and he would have had a bone.
Since filming, Phillips has kept replaying the script in his head.
“What if my wife had been in the car?” What if my son had been in the car? He asked. “What if he had aimed a little higher?” I am very lucky, I am very lucky to still be here.
Phillips’ injury will not require surgery, but he will likely miss up to a month of labor while recovering. A GoFundMe page set up Monday raised more than $ 5,000 to help cover medical bills and support his family while he is out of work.
The largest donation came from famed Atlanta chef and restaurateur Kevin Gillespie, a former âTop Chefâ nominee with multiple James Beard Award nominations.
“Get well quickly!” Gillespie wrote on the fundraising page. “I know your team wants to see you back at work as soon as you’re ready!” “
Jonathan Fox, who started Fox Bros. with his twin Justin, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was grateful his manager was doing well.
âHe’s got a long way to go,â Fox said. “We are grateful that he is on the mend and can return to work soon.”
Phillips said his teenage son begins his studies at Georgia State University in the fall, so every little donation helps him get back on his feet. He also said he will think twice about how he reacts to bad drivers after Saturday’s close encounter on the freeway.
âOh, Iâm done. I will be driving like an 80 year old grandfather from now on, âPhillips said. âIf someone wants to cut me, they can cut me. It really isn’t worth it.
Phillips believes his SUV is likely destroyed after being shot several times. If not, he said he would sell it immediately so he wouldn’t remember his traumatic ordeal. âI don’t even want to sit in this car,â he said.
Atlanta Police are still looking for the shooter and Phillips said he hopes the man will be captured quickly before something similar happens.
– AJC editor Yvonne Zusel contributed to this article.