East End bar owner says doctors can't remove stray bullet from his abdomen

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An East End bar owner said he will have a bullet lodged inside his abdomen for the rest of his life, after a stray bullet went through the wall and wounded him while he was bartending.

"If I had been bending down and reaching into the cooler just for a second or two more, it would have hit me in the head," said John Sanchez from his hospital bed. "It really makes you think, just how quickly you could lose your life."

Houston police say at least two people were involved in a gunfight in the parking lot outside St. Bernard's Pub around 11:45 p.m. Friday.

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It began with two men fighting in the street and ended with bullets flying. One went through a METRO bus window. Another ripped through the wall of a nearby bar.

As owners, employees, and customers were filling Easter baskets for an upcoming charity event, a bullet went through the wall and hit a customer.

"I was just in the middle of giving someone another drink," Sanchez said. "All of a sudden, I see him, he's grabbing and clutching his arm and his chest and he's telling me, 'I've been shot, I've been shot.' I didn't feel a thing."

Sanchez only knew he had been hit when he saw blood on his shirt.

"I didn't believe it until I saw the blood. Then we called 911 and the paramedics came," explained his wife Linda. "When I saw the shirt cut up, and I saw the blood pouring down, I believed it."

"We just tried to apply pressure, locking the doors," added employee Marisa Quirino. "We didn't know if there was going to be a random shooter coming in. We didn't know what was going on."
At least one other bullet went through a METRO bus.

Another bullet hit a man who was riding his bicycle more than a mile away.

The bullet that hit John gave him a fractured rib and damaged liver.

Doctors say it's unsafe to remove, so it will remain in his body for the rest of his life.

"I feel bad. I can't imagine or think that someone could find it in their heart knowing that people are here to even try to shoot at any angle and hurt somebody. I feel horrible," Linda said.

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