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Clairemont man recovering after neighbor accidentally shoots him

Posted at 12:05 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 16:17:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A Clairemont man is recovering after he said he was accidentally shot by his next-door neighbor.

Walter Lam said he was at his dining room table inside his home on Sunday when he heard a gunshot.

“As soon as I heard that shot, I felt something was really cold on the inside of my arm. And I was bleeding; I knew immediately I was shot and I called 911,” Lam said.

Once at the hospital, Lam underwent surgery to remove the bullet.

“If it had moved towards my heart, I would have been dead,” Lam told ABC 10News.

San Diego police said the bullet was fired by his neighbor who lives right next door. The neighbor said he was cleaning his gun and did not even know it was loaded.

Investigators took the neighbor’s gun into evidence, and while he was not arrested, investigators said the neighbor could face a misdemeanor gun-related charge.

Lam is recovering and in a little bit of paint, but he said he’s ready to return to work as head of his nonprofit organization Alliance for African Assistance.

Lam said this is a reminder that life is too short.

“Life can end any time. Just a little more to the right and I would be dead. Right now, people would be planning my funeral,” Lam said.

ABC 10News learned the case has been forwarded to the San Diego City Attorney's Office. They will ultimately decide if Lam’s neighbor will be charged with a crime.