Man killed in Conroe hit-and-run was a college shooting survivor

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The victim of a Conroe hit-and-run last week was the same man who survived a shooting on the Lone Star College campus nearly three years ago.

"He was at such peace in life," said Debra McGregor.

To family members, 28-year-old Jody Neal was a hero and the perfect example of a second chance.

"I remember him saying that the accident was like a wake up call for him. He also realized that God had a purpose for him," said Mcgregor, Neal's Aunt.

You may remember his face. Neal is one of the survivors of the Lone Star College shooting back in 2013. Trey Foster opened fire, wounding three people. Neal was shot six times.

"He had one on his head. One in his groin and one went through his spleen and his liver," added Mcgregor.

After spending weeks in the hospital, Neal fought for his life and bounced back.

"He did everything that he had to do to get his body back in shape," she said.

He Got back in the gym. Got a job and got in church. He continues to do his art work and was studying at the Art Institute. His shooter was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but Neal wanted nothing to do with the case. He didn't even testify.

"He was like you know, it happened I'm moving on with my life. He didn't want any part of putting him away," said Mcgregor.

Life was normal.

"He was working doing what he had to do he was happy," said Neal's girlfriend, Laura Paraza.

But Friday night things would change.

"He grabbed me and gave me a kiss and a hug. He told me by he was coming back soon," she added

But he never returned.

Neal was walking along Country West Drive in Conroe on his way back from getting groceries when DPS says a truck struck struck Neal from behind, killing him on impact.

"It's one of those things where you go, 'Really?'" He survive six bullets. How in the world can this happen," said Mcgregor.

Family members said it was hard telling Neal's seven-year-old son, he has to grow up without his father.

"I am going to miss him a lot, I cannot believe it," added Paraza.

Police are still searching for the driver who hit Neal and sped off. Investigators believe it was a red Ford pickup, possibly an F250 or F350, 4-door with a large amount of dry mud on it. Detectives say there should be some damage to the front right side of the truck.

If you have any information about the driver, call DPS.

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