If a best friend shot us in the stomach, we might have a few choice words for him. "I forgive you and I love you," however, isn't what immediately comes to mind.
But that's exactly what 20-year-old Cody Hassler said in a video message taken from his hospital bed after being shot by his friend, who reportedly suffers from mental health issues.
Patch first reported about Hassler, allegedly shot by his lifelong friend Sammy Turner outside his mother's Vallejo home. Turner fled the scene, according to reports, and barricaded himself inside his apartment while SWAT teams surrounded it.
Worried that Turner may attempt suicide or provoke gunfire from officers, Hassler and his mother, Tiffany Hassler Johnson, recorded a video from the hospital pleading with Turner to turn himself over peacefully. As Hassler says in the video:
Bro, it's Cody. I love you, bro, just come out. I'm ok and I love you, bro. Sh*t doesn't need to go down like this. I love you; you're always going to be my brother. I forgive you bro, I love you, everything's gonna be ok.
Eventually, Turner surrendered to the police. Hassler reportedly does not plan to press charges.
Hassler Johnson, who was home during the incident and held her son until paramedics arrived, described Turner as severely troubled and plagued by his mother's abandonment. According to the Half Moon Bay Review, Turner had recently threatened suicide and may suffer from a bipolar disorder.
"As a mom, I just want to grab him in my arms and hold him and make him feel safe and wanted," she told Patch about Turner. "This tragic event is bigger than these two young men. It is a reflection of what happens when we damage and break our children."
Hassler Johnson's words are particularly moving in the wake of the deadly massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In a Facebook post, Hassler Johnson expressed empathy for the parents of the victims:
This is my reality, the prelude to the ending of one of my greatest nightmares. But in truth, I'm blessed. My child is alive. I'm so sorry Sandy Hook for each and every life lost. But my tears fall for the moms and dad of all the little kids. Cody Hassler, we will get through it, every moment together! I love you son so very much!
According to the Half Moon Bay Review, Turner is currently in a Fairfield jail and could face attempted murder charges. Hassler and his mother reportedly hope to plead for a lesser sentence, requesting mental help for him instead.