Tulsa Barber's Reality Shattered After Gang Gunfire Takes His Ability To Walk
Friday, February 20th 2015, 6:38 pm
By: News On 6
Lawrence Harris was one of the barbers who was caught in the cross fire of a gang shooting two weeks ago.
A bullet from an AK-47 shattered his knee and femur and it may be nearly a year before he can walk or work again.
Harris tells his story exclusively to News on 6.
2/6/2015 Related Story: One Dead, Three Wounded In Tulsa Barber Shop Shooting
It's rare that gang violence affects innocent people, but when it does, it's devastating.
Police said two factions within the Crips gang are feuding about which led to the shooting at the barber shop.
One innocent man was killed and another is facing life-changing injuries.
Harris has been cutting hair for more than 20 years. He's married and has five children and is about to become a grandfather. He has worked at Gifted Hands Barber shop on North Sheridan about two years and was on his last customer Feb. 6 when someone outside started shooting inside at one of the customers.
"There was no time to duck,” Harris said. “It felt like a sledgehammer had hit me in the knee. I could still see the smoke. I could see the shells dancing on the floor and I could almost taste the gunpowder."
2/7/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police Make Arrest In Barber Shop Murder
There were two other barbers working that night and three customers, including a four year old boy.
One barber and the boy weren't hurt. The customer Lawrence was working on, got a flesh wound to his leg. The man was shot in the rear, and barber Keith Liggins took rounds to the chest. Harris could hear Liggins moaning.
"As I lay there, looking over at Keith, hearing that and seeing so much blood on the floor in that little time,” Harris said.
Liggins didn't make it.
2/9/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police Seek Second Suspect In Fatal Barber Shop Shooting
Harris had three surgeries to rebuild his leg. He can't put weight on it for three months and probably won't be able to walk for nearly a year. He is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, even with insurance.
He can't work, and his wife had to take a leave from her job to care for him, so she's not getting a paycheck either.
All because of a gang feud that had nothing to do with him.
"That's not the life that we were in, as barbers,” Harris said. “That's not our lives. I just hate those lives and our lives had to intersect that day."
Lawrence said he ran, played and wrestled with his older kids, but he's afraid he'll never be able to do that with his youngest son, Andre, or even his future grandchildren.
Police have arrested two men -- Dezmen Smith and Chadrick Colbert -- for the shooting.
2/12/15 Related Story: Tulsa Police Make Second Arrest In Fatal Barber Shop Shooting
If you'd like to help the Harris family, click here for info on the GoFundMe account set up on their behalf.