Charles “Chuck” Moore is lying in University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital paralyzed from the waist down, but he’s still cracking jokes.
“You can call me bullet sponge,” he said in a telephone interview.
Moore was working at the Marathon gas station on Lansdowne Drive on Sept. 17 when he was shot four times during what police said was an attempted robbery.
Moore, 49, is a former Marine who has worked at the gas station for just over two years and was frequenting it long before that.
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He said a co-worker and her husband were in the back of the store and he was out front on the Saturday night when the men came inside.
“They didn’t ask for anything,” Moore said. But he said one of the men had a hood pulled around his mouth and was yelling.
Moore said he approached the man and asked what he wanted, and at that point he saw the pistol.
As a gut reaction, “I immediately went for the pistol,” Moore said. At that point, the intruder fired a shot that passed through Moore’s right thigh, then a second shot that shattered his left femur.
Another man shot him twice in the back, Moore said. He knows that because the shots that “left my chest cavity full of bullet fragments” were of a different caliber than those in his legs.
He said his co-worker’s husband applied pressure to the wounds while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
“He saved my life,” Moore said.
Police said there have been no arrests in the case.
Moore said he is “doing great” and is “100 percent” confident that he will get his uncooperative legs going again.
“I’m going to teach them. They’re going to carry me again,” he said. “It’s going to take some time.”
He said he expects to go to a rehabilitation facility sometime within the next week.
Moore posted on his Facebook page a video of himself in his hospital bed and thanked people for their cards and letters.
His son and daughter-in-law have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help pay Moore’s expenses, and last Saturday friends and neighbors gathered at the Marathon station for a fundraiser.
“The Lansdowne community has really overwhelmed me with their support and love,” said Moore, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2003.
In his spare time, Moore said he enjoys reading and writing and spending time outdoors camping, canoeing and kayaking.
“I like to go out in the woods, just myself and my dogs,” he said. “I don’t like to just sit down and stare at the walls.”
He said “the one thing that has been bothering me” is that he hasn’t been able to see his two dogs since the shooting. His roommate is caring for them while he recovers.
Moore said he would like to see the men who shot him taken off the street, but he said he does not hate them.
“These are kids that was 17, 18, 19,” he said. “Straight from my heart, I really don’t hate them. I really feel sorry for them for the path they have chosen. ... They’re in for a life of pain.”