MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Orange Mound man is counting his blessings after someone shot his car up while his 3-year-old daughter was in the car.
It was a terrifying start to the day for Franklin Gill and his family early Monday morning as they were leaving a gas station on Park Avenue.
"A car follows us trying to bump us off the road and starts shooting shots, and I had to try to outrun them," Gill said. "I ran into a pole, totaling the car."
Crews have since repaired the pole that was split in half when Gill's car crashed into it, but there are still pieces of debris scattered on the street from the crash.
During the short chase, Gill said someone fired 25-30 shots into his car.
"Some man came out the passenger's window," he said. "He sounds what sounded like an assault rifle, and I just hit the gas."
What really has him shaken up is that his 3-year-old daughter and fiancee were inside the car trying to shield themselves from the bullets.
Gill said he exchanged fire with the men chasing him, doing all he could do to stop them.
"I was worried," he said. "I was telling her to hold the baby down."
It appears the men were really on a mission. Gill said they kept shooting, even after he crashed his car into a pole at the corner of Baltimore and Carnes.
"When I actually hit the pole, I think I heard three more shots," Gill said. "I heard them brake, and I hear them go 'doot doot doot,' and they took off."
The impact of the crash and shots were so loud that neighbors woke up saying it sounded like a war zone.
Not seriously hurt, Gill said he can handle the physical pain from the crash. It's the fear of losing his daughter that stays in his mind.
"She was very scared, but she didn't cry," he said. "She had some of me in her. She didn't cry at all."
He has a message for the men whose actions could've taken his entire family away.
"May God be with y'all," Gill said. "That's all I can say. May God be with y'all, seriously."
Gill told police one of the men in the SUV that chased them looked familiar, but police haven't identified any persons of interest. Anyone with information should contact Memphis Police.