The walk from downtown along North Calvert Street to Mount Vernon where Jason Pierce lives usually takes about twelve minutes, and is usually safe. But things were different when the bars closed early Christmas morning.
"We went out with another friend of ours who was in town and normally we would come back and walk home together,” said his roommate and coworker, Bretly Morris. “But I’m house sitting in Canton so we went separate ways that night."
It was on that solo stroll home when the 38-year-old was held up and attacked.
"He was approached by an unknown suspect who announced a robbery and during the course of the robbery the victim was shot before the suspect left the scene," Baltimore City Detective, Jeremy Silbert said.
The lone robber got away with cash, and almost took Jason’s life. He was near death and rushed to Shock Trauma.
"They said that if he had been just like a couple seconds later it would have been over," said Jason’s sister, Stacie Bigelow.
Jason was shot in the arm and the abdomen, we're told the bullet went straight through his liver. Luckily, things have been going well and Jason is making good progress.
"He can't talk because he's got the tubes and everything, but he was joking around with facial expressions and hand gestures, so that was really awesome to see that his personality is still there even though he's in critical condition,” Bigelow said.
Friends and coworkers are working to set up a benefit concert at Tin Roof in the next few weeks, and a GoFundMe page set up a day ago has already raised more than $22,000. Jason has a long road to recovery, and friends say he doesn’t have health insurance, so all of the donations will help pay for the mounting medical bills.
People from all over are rallying behind Jason.
"It's hard to believe that someone so kind hearted, who gives out so many positive vibes, you know, that something like this can happen," said Troll Tribe Band Mate Matthew Collins.
It's that outpouring of care that is a bright spot for Jason’s loved ones, and it's what they're leaning on right now while he fights.
"With all of the love and everything that's surrounding him, we're like so sure he's gonna make it,” Bigelow said. “We're sure it's gonna be tough, but we're also sure he's gonna make it."
Family and friends tell me they want justice for Jason.
The gunman is still on the loose, detectives are checking to see if any cameras in the area captured the violent robbery.
If you saw anything or know something, please call Baltimore Police at 410-396-2221.