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Surviving Gun Violence: Broad River shooting survivor hopes to inspire people to put guns down

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 11:32 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 3:14 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Columbia native, Nagi “Sammy” Njuguna is a product of Dutch Fork High School’s drama club. He’s grown tremendously in his acting career and has appeared on nationally syndicated shows and most recently landed a starring role in Amazon Prime’s newest thriller, “Black As Night.”

The movie, which is about vampires taking over an American city, debuted last month and the ratings have been off the charts.

”It was the first time I was able to showcase my acting ability, Njuguna said. “I do my own stunts I have fight scenes, it was a pivotal moment for my career.”

However, there is no role in the world that could prepare Njuguna for the toughest scene in his life.

On Oct. 6th Njuguna was back home in Columbia, celebrating his success with friends and family. Before heading home, around 1:30 am, he stopped at the CK Mart gas station off Broad River Road. It was then his life changed forever.

”I was shot three times walking out the gas station,” Njuguna told WIS’ Billie Jean Shaw. “Unprovoked. I didn’t say anything to anybody. I was shot in my chest, right by my heart, it went through my lungs It missed a main artery by an inch,” Njuguna said.

Njuguna says after he was shot he could not move. He was shot in his shoulder and, back and the bullet is still there.

“There were people there, most of them didn’t help me but one man came to help me,” Njuguna said.

Njuguna was rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. His mom, who was out of town at the time caught the soonest flight from Alabama. When she got to her son, she watched and prayed over him as the doctors delivered devastating news.

”At the time they were telling me it’s pretty bad,” said Dr. Njguna. “They don’t know what was going to happen and a part of his lungs were cut off.”

As Njuguna lay in the hospital bed fighting for his life, the man accused of shooting him was arrested by Richland County deputies.

23-year-old Maliquee Hazelwood was charged with one count of attempted murder. He was granted a $50,000 bond and was released from jail the same day.

”This person tried to murder me and he was bailed out within 12 hours,” Njuguna said. “While I was still in ICU the judge gives this person a $50,000 bail which is the same bail as stealing a TV from Walmart. He put three bullets in me.”

Njuguna is just one of the hundreds of people shot in Richland County this year, according to a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Office.

From Jan. 1 to Nov. 11, a total of 131 victims were shot in Richland County. 102 victims survived, 29 died.

The number of murders this year in the county has more than doubled from just a year ago.

Njuguna says his near-death experience is just a chapter of his life story but hopes to inspire people to put the guns down.

”I’m willing to use my voice to bring awareness to the problem because something must be done.”

Njuguna’s family has started a GoFundme for him to help him pay his medical bills. Click here to donate.

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