Elderly man recalls Gresham drive-by shooting that left him wounded

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 5:15 PM PDT
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GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) - A great-grandfather was shot in a drive-by shooting late Monday night, in Gresham, as he was driving home from the grocery store.

Gresham police said the man was hospitalized after he was shot in the back. His car was also struck several times.

The victim, 72-year-old James Guyton, said he was released from the hospital Wednesday.

“If I didn’t die then I knew God must’ve been with me because they were all them bullets and I just got shot in the back,” Guyton said.

He is now recovering at home, taking a lot of prescription pain medication and has trouble getting around because of his wound.

Guyton recalled the shooting in an interview with Fox 12 Thursday afternoon.

Guyton said he went to Winco that night to pick up some mouthwash to treat an infected, swollen cheek, and then grabbed a couple bottles of soda, too, before heading back toward home.

Guyton said he was driving along East Burnside Street when an SUV started tailgating him.

“A car was following like real close with their high beam on it so I couldn’t actually see who it was because the light was blinding me,” Guyton said.

But the SUV eventually stopped behind him and made a turn onto a side street while the great-grandfather continued straight down Burnside, he said.

Shortly after, the SUV was back again, this time pulling up alongside him near Civic Drive.

“I heard some shooting, I kept on going, I didn’t think they were shooting at me, and the car was in the center lane, like the turning lane, and it kept coming,” Guyton said.

“The car pulled up, as it was passing me, they shot and I looked and saw my windshield shatter and the car drove up the hill and they disappeared somewhere,” Guyton added. “And I thought, oh, they are shooting at me.”

Guyton said he had no idea that he’d been shot. He said he speeded up to try and catch the SUV but couldn’t find it, so he went home to get help.

“I called 911 and they asked me if I was hit and I said, ‘I don’t know,’ Guyton said. “I couldn’t feel anything, so when I got (home) I took my sweater off and I saw a big hole in and it was full of blood, and police finally got here and saw my car -- they said, ‘dang, somebody was really trying to get you.’”

An ambulance then picked up Guyton and took him to Legacy Emanuel Hospital where he stayed for two days.

Guyton said the bullet is still in his arm, near his shoulder and armpit, because doctors said removing it could cause more damage to his body.

A doctor snapped a photo of his wound so he could see what it looked like.

“I heard about 6 or 7 shots – they were real loud -- so it had to be something like a .45 or something,” Guyton said.

“I just didn’t understand who was shooting at me like that, from the back,” Guyton added.

The Gresham man said he doesn’t know why he was targeted but thinks that they driver may have been angry because he was going under the speed limit.

“I think when they were going down Burnside, they probably wanted me to speed up, get out of their way,” Guyton said.

It’s a possibility that he may have also been mistaken for someone else, said Guyton.

The suspects’ vehicle is described as a smaller brown or gold SUV.

The altercation took place around 11 p.m. Monday night along Burnside between 162nd and Civic Drive.

Anyone with information on the crime or suspects is asked to call Gresham Police.