As part of a gang initiation, Ross Capicchioni was almost murdered in 2007. He was 17 years old at the time and a junior in high school.
A person that Ross had believed to be a friend made Ross travel to a secluded area in Detroit. The so-called friend would then fire at Ross three times with a shotgun. Ross’ car was stolen, and the young man was left for dead.
Surprisingly, Ross did not end up dying that day. He somehow managed to walk far enough that he was found by a probation officer that was driving by. According to a YouTube video Ross made, he felt the officer’s hand on his back in a reassuring fashion. He was encouraged to not close his eyes—as an ambulance was on the way.
Ross had known the person who tried to kill him for a decade and truly considered that person a friend; however, when that “friend” asked Ross to drive to the house of a cousin—located on the east side of Detroit—Ross knew it was a bad idea.
Ross said that the east side is like seven mile; he claims it is like a third-world country. The police won’t stop people and get out of a car, he said; they won’t pull people over.
However, Ross eventually gave in—after a week—and drove his “friend” to the place he allegedly needed to go. He did not feel good about the situation, though. He got an “eerie feeling”, as if he were in a “bad spot”. He decided to shake the feeling off, though, as he had known the “friend” for as long as he had.
Just a moment after Ross got out of the car, the young man was shot in the arm. His arm was barely attached to the rest of his body afterwards.
After examining the wound, he asked his “friend” if he had shot him. Another shot followed, which hit Ross in the chest. He ended up collapsing to the ground, and he then felt the gun’s barrel—it was pressed against his head.
Ross said he tried to smack the gun away, but because it was a shotgun, it sprayed; Ross ended up taking damage to his head. He was still conscious when his “friend” used the butt of the gun to hit him in the face.
The so-called friend would take Ross’ car keys and steal his Jeep Commander. Ross was left for dead. He might have been alone, but he refused to give up. He would begin to lose consciousness, but he would not let himself fall asleep. Ross said that he felt as if he were dying—which he obviously was—but would wake himself up. He would tell himself to get up.
Ross was actually pronounced dead upon reaching the hospital; he claims he heard the doctor saying that there was going to be an attempt made to help Ross. He ended up getting emergency surgery due to his chest wound; then, once Ross was stable, doctors would work on his arm and his head.
Ross remembers waking up in the hospital room; he was understandably disturbed by the fact that there was a “thing pumping air” into his lungs. He recalls a nurse yelling that he was awake. After the breathing tube was removed, the staff of the hospital started asking Ross questions. He could not remember the name of the President, the date, or even his name.
He did manage to remember the phone number of his father, however. Ross had actually been missing for three days at that point. He was worried that his mother would be mad at him and told her that she wasn’t allowed to be mad at him in the moment. For obvious reasons, she was not mad—she was just glad that her son was alive.
Five days after the shooting, Ross was released from the hospital and was able to go home. He actually ended up speaking with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) the day after he returned home. His shooter ended up in custody because a person who knew about the shooting told the police.
Ross would go on to testify against the person who shot him. At the time, Ross was missing his teeth, and his head was stapled. His arm was in a cast, and he had lost a lot of weight.
Ross said that his “friend” did what he did because he was looking to join a gang. The form of initiation was to kill a person; it did not matter who. Ross was chosen.
He actually testified twice, and the shooter ended up being sentenced to 35 years in prison. The rapper Joyner Lucas ended up making a video about Ross’ unfortunate experience.
For obvious reasons, the experience changed Ross; he doesn’t think about what he doesn’t have—he focuses on what he does have.