Man grazed by stray bullet while mowing: “I thought I was dead.”

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An East Memphis man is opening up about the terrifying moment he was grazed by a stray bullet while mowing his neighbor's lawn Friday afternoon.

"I was just in the yard cutting grass," said Kenneth Payne. "All of a sudden I just heard a loud, 'Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow!' and bullets just went flying everywhere."

Payne and his mother – who was sitting on their front porch on Fizer when it happened – say they dropped to the ground when the gunshots rang out.

"I was getting down by the time I got hit right here, then I fell to the ground," Payne said.

But just as he tried to dodge the bullets, one whizzed past him, grazing his side.

"I thought I was dead, I thought it was through, I thought it was over with," he said. "I couldn't believe it."

Crime scene tape covered three blocks during the investigation – from Fizer, to Barron, to Meadow.

But police still don't know exactly where the bullets came from.

They hit Payne's mother's house next door, and a house a block over, flying into a living room where six small kids were hanging out.

"You can't even do anything in the daytime, you barely can do anything at night," Payne said. "Now? In the daytime? It's a shame."

Doctors told Payne he's lucky, because if he had been standing just an inch or two from where he was, the bullet could have killed him.

"[It] could have been a lot worse," he said.

But that's of little comfort for him and his family, who say they're sick and tired of having to fear for their lives every time they step outside.

"They need to just stop this shooting," Payne said. "It's nonsense. Senseless. For what? Too many people getting hurt."

Police still haven't arrested anyone and don't have any suspect descriptions right now.

Call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH if you know anything that could help.


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