NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Tulane medical student who was nearly killed by a man off Magazine Street two years ago returned to New Orleans Thursday to make good on a commitment.
Peter Gold, who is now a doctor, came back to help young people through a program designed to help lead them into productive lives. Gold was the victim of one of the most brutal crime sprees in recent memory when he intervened in an attack on a woman in November of 2015 and wound up getting shot.
"I tried to stop him from kidnapping her, he wound up robbing me, shooting me in the stomach and luckily his gun jammed," said Gold, speaking to a group of volunteers in Central City.
Gold, has fully recovered and now heads a group called Strong City, which raised $100,000 to help local young people. He has partnered with the Youth Empowerment Project and now they are making holiday food baskets for the needy.
"Originally you're angry, but that makes you question things, like how can someone act with so much violence with such ease," said Gold.
Gold is doing his medical residency in New York and has brought in many Tulane colleagues to work with Strong City. Like Gold, many now live all over the U.S. but feel a special bond with New Orleans.
"The answer is focusing on youth helping them start in the right path, and empower them. And that's where we see the difference in 20 to 30 years," said Gold.
The gunman in Gold's case, Euric Cain, pleaded guilty to shooting Gold and is now serving a 54-year sentence.
"I think it was a troubled past, common to the youth in our city," said Gold.
Now Gold and his foundation are turning that negative into something positive. Gold has big visions for his Strong City program, but first he wants to make sure it's strong here.
"Our vision is to spread to other cities across the country," said Gold.
In Central City, Gold's program showed kids how to give back by putting together 100 Thanksgiving baskets for the needy.
"I think he's doing an excellent job, especially for people under the bridge," said Laci Hargrove with the Youth Empowerment Project.
For a young doctor who nearly died trying to save a woman from being abducted, it's clear there's more work to do. And he and his former classmates say they are committed to doing much more in the future.
Dr. Gold's volunteer work didn't stop with the basket program. He also presented the Youth Empowerment Project with a $10,000 check to help them in their mission to keep young people who have been in the juvenile justice system to lead productive lives.