Wednesday, July 12, 2017
A Life Lesson Derived From A Life Well Lived
Man shot in 1958 dies from gunshot wound nearly 60 years later. Authorities rule it a homicide.
A man has died from gunshot wounds that occurred nearly 60 years ago. The Palm Beach County medical examiner said the 77-year-old man died in May from an infection and complications from the gunshot wound decades ago. (Johanna Leguerre/AFP/Getty Images)
A Florida man who was shot in 1958 has died from his gunshot wound almost 60 years later, according to the county medical examiner’s office.
John Henry Barrett, 77, died in May from an infection and complications from the gunshot wound decades ago, and the Palm Beach County medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.
Barrett was shot in the neck in 1958 at age 19 after a tense confrontation with a friend resulted in gunfire. The bullet, which damaged his spinal cord, left him partially paralyzed for the remainder of his life.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the shooter served time in prison for the crime, but the medical examiner’s report did not identify the shooter or indicate how long he had served time. Officials said they could not locate any information about the suspect in court records.
Barrett was a pastor for more than 30 years and became the first black executive director of the Pahokee Housing Authority. Although doctors told him he would probably never walk again, he eventually learned to walk using a cane. The Post recalled a 1974 interview he did with the Miami Herald when he told them he felt the incident was a blessing to his life.
“I don’t believe I’ll ever completely recover,” Barrett said in the interview. “But if the accident hadn’t happened, I would have spent all of my life as a farm worker.”
Family members said he tried to use his situation to inspire others around him. “He never wanted to be looked upon as [being disabled],” Terrance Lee, Barrett’s great-nephew, said. “He wanted to be looked up to as a normal person in society. That’s the way he lived his life.”