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Bullet still lodged in jaw of Hopkinsville man shot during attempted carjacking

(Fox 17 News)

A Hopkinsville man has a bullet lodged in his jaw after he said a man shot him in the side of the head during a prospective car sale.

Police said 18-year-old Khalil Thacker was charged with first degree assault and tampering with evidence after he confessed to shooting Barry Burchett in the side of the head.

"I see it every night when I go to sleep,” Burchett said. “I replay it, hearing that gun go off on my head, thinking that was it."

Burchett said he was trying to sell his car online, hoping to put the money toward a house, when a possible buyer reached out to him on Facebook last Wednesday.

After a brief meeting on Wednesday, Burchett said he met with the alleged son of the prospective buyer at 109 N. Vine St. Thursday morning around 10:30 a.m.

The son told Burchett his father was about to show up, when the gun went off.

“I throw my hand up to my right side of my head, and that’s when I pulled it down I seen all the blood," Burchett said. "I knew then I had been shot. That’s what he’d done. I stood up and said, 'you shot me in the head, what’d you do that for?!' Next thing I knew I was on the ground."

Burchett said he then pulled a licensed gun out of his pocket, pointing it at the shooter and ultimately scaring him off even though the gun was on safety. Covered in blood, with the keys to the car still in his pocket, Burchett ran to a nearby parking lot, screaming for help.

"Death-defying screaming that I’ve been shot in the head, somebody call 911, please help me,” Burchett said.

After calling 911 himself, Burchett was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Police found and arrested Khalil Thacker later that day.

Burchett has been out of the hospital since Sunday, with the bullet still lodged in his jaw.

"The doctor said it missed everything important by a hair,” Burchett said.

Burchett said it’s a miracle he’s alive and able to walk and talk, although he doesn’t know when or if he’ll be able to return to work as a truck driver.

"I wake up every day with a totally different attitude about what's important and what's not,” Burchett said.

Burchett also has a warning for people buying things from strangers: meet in a public place, and never go alone.

"Don't trust yourself to say, well nothing's going to happen to me, it won't happen to me, this happens on TV. No. This happens in real life,” Burchett said.

Burchett said doctors have told him they make take the bullet out of his head in the coming weeks, causing them to break his jaw.

Friends started a GoFundMe Account to help Burchett with his expenses. CLICK HERE to donate.

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