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Intended victim of shooting rampage shares survival story

11:44 AM, Feb 16, 2010   |    comments
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Bruce Jackson is thankful that he and his daughter were unharmed in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by Andre Watkins.

Tampa, Florida -- Bruce Jackson says what happened last Friday was no surprise.

"I already knew it was going to happen, I just didn't know when."

The 32-year-old father of three once lived next door to Andre Watkins, the man now charged with kidnapping, armed carjacking and murder following Friday's deadly rampage across Town 'N Country.

"As we grew up, the more violent he would become. If you crossed his path the wrong way, he would want to hurt you," Jackson told 10 Connects.

Jackson claims back in March, he called police when Watkins threatened to kill his kids, because they stepped on his mother's lawn. He's avoided the man ever since, until Friday, when Jackson says the 53-year-old showed up outside his home.

"He raised his gun and said, 'Bruce you're dead. You're dead, Bruce.' He shot at me two times as I ran inside the house," Jackson recalls.

The father scrambled to find his 2-year-old daughter, but couldn't as the gunman kicked in the family's front door.

"I dove out the window."

Jackson says not only was his daughter inside the home, but the neighborhood was filled with kids playing in the street, including his two older kids.

"I thought it was firecrackers, and my Dad said someone is shooting," remembers Jackson's 8-year-old son Bruce.

"What's going through my mind was, 'Did he shoot my 2-year-old daughter?' Cause she was still in the house as I was running down the street. I thought she was dead," Jackson said.

Somehow the entire family escaped injury, and while it could be a long time before life returns to normal, Bruce Jackson knows just how lucky his family really is.

"[I'm] thankful that we're all still here living."

More Coverage:

Beau Zimmer, 10 Connects

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