By Jeffrey Lindblom

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    GRESHAM, Oregon (KPTV) — On October 3, there was a deadly shooting across the country in North Carolina that involved Vasyl Nesvit, a 26-year-old Gresham man.

Family and friends say he’s a truck driver and, by unfortunate chance, wound up in the crosshairs of a dispute while seeking shelter at a truck stop.

The Pystupa’s, childhood friends of his, explained that he hadn’t stopped in days and was looking for a place to hunker down for a warm shower and shelter.

Upon looking for those comforts, that’s when he wound up shot just beneath his heart, in the hospital losing organs and fighting for his life.

Alina Prystupa recalls when she heard the news, “I thought I was dreaming like it was a nightmare.” Her brother, Dmytro, says he “just didn’t get to cherish the moments with him until something like this happens.”

“He’s in critical condition,” Alina explained. “He just became a victim.” Dmytro added, “you hear about gun violence online and it just kind of passes by you. You don’t really think much of it until it actually affects you.”

For truckers like Nesvit, long journeys on highways are just a part of the job. In this case, that job took him more than 2,500 miles away from his friends and family in Oregon.

“He had went to a truck stop to take a shower,” Dmytro said. That’s here he a heard “a loud pop outside.” Alina added, “he thought it was fireworks.”

“The first thing he saw when he walked out was a guy laying in a bunch of blood,” Dmytro said.

Alina said that’s when his eyes moved from the ground and straight ahead, “there was a gun in front of his face.”

Dmytro explained from Nesvit’s point of view after a brief phone call with him that he “ran to the first thing to take cover, and when he got there he said he fell and there was blood. So, he had already been shot.”

“The bullet went right through him,” Alina said. She says he was in the hospital and undergoing surgery in less than 10 minutes. “We’re just so happy that he’s alive. It’s a miracle.”

His family made their way to North Carolina to be with him where Nesvit said that “he’s so scared.” He’s scared for his safety with someone still on the loose who shot him and fearing for his life.

His friends say they’re praying and have faith they’ll be able to see him again. Alina is looking forward to when she can “give him a hug and just say how happy I am that he survived.”

The Prystupa’s come from Ukraine. Nesvit is also a Ukrainian, moving here seven years ago.

Without insurance or workers comp, the family is seeking financial help and legal advice from a Ukrainian lawyer.

The Prystupa family says the company Nesvit works for says since he was not in the truck when the event occurred, they’re not liable to help.

Alina Prystupa set up a GoFundMe in an effort to help the family with travel expenses and medical bills.

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