A New York father who was hailed a hero for taking a bullet in his leg while shielding his three young sons from gunfire that broke out at a car dealership said he was simply doing what any father would do. In an exclusive interview with Inside Edition, Anthony Jefferson recounted the terrifying ordeal.
“I just went into fatherly mode, at that moment. And I just wanted to keep the kids safe,” Jefferson told Inside Edition.
The 39-year-old construction worker had come to the dealership with his sons in the Bronx to buy his wife a new car for her birthday. As they waited in the lounge, a man suddenly pulled out a gun and started shooting.
“There was gunfire coming from three directions,” Jefferson said. The shooting was captured in surveillance video, which shows Jefferson quickly rush to the ground to cover his sons with his body.
"I felt the shot, went into the back of my leg. I’m laying on the ground holding my sons,” Jefferson said.
One of the bullets struck right where his 6-year-old son was sitting on the couch, just missing his head.
Jefferson was rushed to the hospital, but not before he calmly called his wife.
“He said, ‘Sweetheart, come pick the kids up,’” his wife Danica told Inside Edition. She didn’t know that there was a shooting until she arrived. Danica was overcome with emotion recounting how close she came to losing her family.
“It was one of the bravest things he really did,” Danica said.
Following the shooting, one of their sons has been crying at night about the fact that his dad was shot, Danica said.
Because of his gunshot wound, Jefferson said he has lost his construction job. “It’s devastating, you know, because I was the head of the household,” he said.
But his family is thankful, knowing it could have been a lot worse.
“He’s my husband—he's my hero everyday. The world’s just actually able to now see that,” Danica said.
Jefferson still has a bullet in his leg and will need surgery to remove it. A GoFundMe page set up to help has already raised more than $250,000.