FOX CROSSING, Wis. (AP) — An 18-year-old Wisconsin man who was randomly shot six times at a rest stop in Ohio has returned home after more than three weeks in the hospital.
After the shooting, Alex Melchert’s lungs collapsed, he lost his spleen and he had substantial injuries to his stomach and pancreas, the Post-Crescent reported. A rib stopped a bullet that remains lodged in his back from striking his aorta.
“I honestly didn’t know if I would live or die,” said Melchert.
Within two days of the shooting doctors performed four major surgeries. Three of the surgeries were abdominal and one was to reconstruct his arm.
Melchert, 18, said humans are resilient, and “it’s hard to kill us.”
On the day of the shooting, the College of Wooster freshman stopped at a rest stop to wash his face and wet his hair. When he returned to his vehicle, he heard someone yell. When he turned around he heard several shots.
The 25-year-old Ohio man who shot Melchert immediately led authorities on a high-speed chase. He then shot and killed himself after his car crashed.
“It’s sad to hear that someone shot themselves,” Melchert said. “He didn’t need to shoot me, but he also didn’t need to shoot himself. I don’t think this endless killing does anything.”
Melchert was overwhelmed with the support he received from his school and intends to return to campus next semester.