NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyLantana

Actions

'Senior Superman' describes terror of being shot on Interstate 95 exit in Lantana

'I thought I was done,' says Richard Sabatino, 71
Lantana shooting victim Richard Sabatino, 71, speaks to WPTV on Sept. 30, 2021.jpg
Posted at 2:11 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 18:13:17-04

LANTANA, Fla. — A South Florida man who survived five different types of cancer feared a single bullet would end his life on Wednesday.

Richard Sabatino, 71, was heading home around 4 p.m. from running errands and had just exited Interstate 95 at Hypoluxo Road in Lantana.

"I feel this impact somewhere on my chest like a heat, and a bang," Sabatino said Thursday.

That impact, according to Lantana police, was a bullet fired randomly from a mystery gunman. Sabatino said he was shot in the neck and crashed into a car in front of him.

"I'm bleeding, and this side I'm bleeding," Sabatino said. "I'm in like a shock-type pain. Not a severe pain."

INTERVIEW WITH SHOOTING VICTIM:

Interstate 95 shooting victim interview

Sabatino said the bullet went into his neck and out the other side. He feared he wasn't going to survive, saying he was just millimeters away from a worst-case scenario.

"I was thinking about my kids, my wife and everything else. Like, holy cow, I'm done," Sabatino said. "After fighting off five cancers for a whole year with multiple, multiple treatments and whatnot, and finally just about cleared up. To go down with a bullet taking you right out!"

The former New Yorker is being called "Senior Superman" by those who know him, and for good reason. Over the last 12 months, Sabatino has undergone multiple surgeries to remove tumors from five parts of his body, including his brain, lungs, and breast.

"I thought I was done again," Sabatino said of Wednesday's shooting.

Sabatino was able to be released from the hospital. He spoke to WPTV with a bandage over the back of his neck.

Lantana police said they have not identified the gunman and have not made any arrests. Investigators recovered at least seven shell casings, but said more shots were possibly fired.

"What do I want to see happen? They apprehend this lunatic that could kill a lot of people uselessly," Sabatino said.

If anyone has any information that can help police, call Detective Brian Gibson at 561-540-5718 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS.