Good Samaritan Peter Gold speaks at scene of thwarted kidnapping, shooting
It's been nearly two years since good Samaritan Peter Gold stopped a kidnapping on Magazine Street, and ended up being shot in the process. The Tulane medical student was left for dead. For the first time, he re-visited the scene of the crime with FOX 8, reliving those harrowing few minutes.
"It's something that I have to think about every single day. It's something that's become part of my life," Gold explained.
Two years ago, Peter Gold almost died, protecting the life of a stranger.
"I'd really like to think that everybody would do that if given the opportunity," Gold stated.
Driving home from work, early on the morning of Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, the then Tulane medical student stumbled upon something horrifying.
The 27-year-old explains, "I was driving down Magazine and just loOKed this way down the street and saw a man having a girl in a headlock and just dragging her down the street."
He continues, "My instincts kinda toOK the best of me and the next thing I knew I was out of the car and yelling at him and for me to do anything to get him to stop."
Surveillance cameras on nearby businesses captured the whole thing.
Gold recalls, "I was saying any and everything just to get him to leave this girl alone. Next thing I know, he started robbing me and that's when things kinda turned south."
The suspect, Euric Cain ordered Gold to his knees.
"He had the gun pointed at me point blank and he just said I'm going to kill you and that's when he shot me immediately in the stomach. The feeling of being shot, it feels like the wind is being knocked out of you, it's never going to go away, you're just constantly trying to catch your breath," Gold said.
In the video, you can see Cain point the gun at Gold's head. Miraculously, the gun jammed, twice.
"He thought he killed me and ended up leaving the scene, leaving myself and the girl thankfully," Gold stated.
A week in the hospital ended with three months of recovery.
Describing his injuries, Gold says, "They took out my spleen, part of my pancreas, a little bit of small bowel."
When asked if this is almost like the beginning of a new life for him, Gold replies, "Yeah, it was definitely a turning point because it made me really put myself in somebody else's shoes which I never fully did before."
Standing in the shoes of Cain, who has since pleaded guilty to the shooting and the kidnapping and rape of a couple in Treme less than 24 hours later, Gold knew he had to take a stand. The crimes sent shock waves through the community with one of Cain's victims calling him, "pure evil."
Gold comments, "I'm as much a part of this community as he is, as anybody is. We need to focus on supporting our youth so these things don't happen."
Two years later, Gold is making good on his promise, through his newly formed foundation, Strong City.
He explains, "We're kinda reaching out to people all over the country, trying to raise money so that we can give back to community programs like YEP."
Gold's friend and Strong City board member explains, "He wanted it to be more than just hey this happened and that's the end of the story, how do we sort of better understand what the other side of this incident looks like."
Last week, Gold not only presented a $10,000 check to the Youth Empowerment Project, he also spent hours with the teens, packing Thanksgiving boxes for their families and others.
He explains, "Money and everything goes a long way but being able to work hand in hand with the kids, for us to meet them and for them to meet us, to become friends really, is what's the ultimate goal."
Clearly the kids have taken to him.
"I think he's doing wonderful, keep up the good job. He's doing a great job and everybody should be like him," Lacey Hargrove said.
And they've taken his story, to heart.
"Some people don't have that type of spirit to give back after someone's taken from you from your city, I think that's a blessing," said Hargrove.
Gold believes if he can keep shape even one life, to prevent someone else from making the choices his attacker did, he'll be successful.
Now a resident at a hospital in New York, Gold is studying to become an orthopedic surgeon. He says the woman he helped to save that night, who has never publicly been identified, did reach out to him with a letter, thanking him.
"I'm grateful that she's ok and I'm hoping that she's ok," Gold commented.
As he moves forward, his family and friends try to do the same.
Gold says, "My parents and sister were wrecked for months, and still to this day, they have lasting effects of the trauma that happened."
His friend, Alex Brands, adds, "To see your best friend almost die is a pretty intense experience and so knowing that it happened we approach every day a little bit differently and I'm very thankful to have him around in a way that he could not have been."
Gold's attitude these days is all about looking ahead and not harboring hate for the shooting or person, that nearly killed him.
He explains, "What I'm most happy and most proud of is that I'm able to take this negative and turn it into a positive and really focus on coming back to New Orleans now in a meaningful way."
Euric Cain was sentenced to 54 years in prison without the possibility of parole. He didn't say anything to Gold or his other victims when given the opportunity in court.