The Cleveland veteran shot during a heated political debate at an east side bar is surprised at the attention his story has received, speaking exclusively to NewsChannel5 from his hospital bed.
Paul Jones, Jr. served overseas in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He came home unscathed and the 60-year-old never thought his political views would result in such violence.
"Just a sign of the times today. People are really lost," Jones, a staunch Donald Trump supporter, said. "It's too much like high school. You're either with us or against us."
Jones was at his neighborhood bar, Winston's Place near E. 131st and Miles on Monday afternoon, and started talking politics with a friend.
Another man nearby overheard and got so enraged about Jones' views, he went out to his car and came back with a gun, police said. The gunman fired twice, one bullet hitting Jones in the thigh.
"He was more into than I was. I'm not into all that nonsense. If you're too immature that you can't deal with somebody else's opinion, maybe you shouldn't be out on the streets," Jones said.
But the shooter is still out on the streets. He has not been formally charged and is not in custody, so we are not releasing his name at this point.
However, court records reveal the 45-year-old gunman already has a criminal history, including an assault charge stemming from a case from that very same bar.
"Some people just never, ever learn that you have a right to your own opinion. This is your world also," Jones said.
And while he said he's surprised at the attention his story got, making headlines all over the world, he is glad we first told you about it.
"At least it is a black-on-black crime, at least they did report it this time. Sad it's gotta be over who supports somebody or doesn't support somebody," Jones added.