NEW ORLEANS — A father and husband was dropping off Mardi Gras beads at an Uptown donation box July 17, when police say an escapee from the Bridge City Center for Youth carjacked and shot him. Scott Toups has been in the ICU for the past two and a half months, until now.
"Feels great, you know. God was on my side," Toups said from a rehabilitation center.
Since the shooting, he's been in an ICU hospital bed on a ventilator. Wednesday he was released from the hospital and was transferred to a rehabilitation center.
"This is combined miracles, his wife, Stacie Toups, said.
Toups is an electrician, father of three adult sons, and Mardi Gras krewe member. While he is still learning exactly what happened July 17, he remembers dropping off Mardi Gras beads to a donation box Uptown, when a teenager came up to him and asked for his keys.
"I believe I went to reach for my gun to scare him off and he came over and shot me twice," Toups said.
17-year-old Kendell Myles was one of six juvenile inmates who escaped from the Bridge City Center for Youth in July. Myles was caught and is being tried as an adult. Charges include attempted second degree murder.
New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams said in a statement, “As we work diligently to combat this senseless crime surge taking place in New Orleans, my office is committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that those who choose to wreak havoc in our community are appropriately held accountable.”
Toups was taken to a hospital and his family faced more questions than answers.
"There were a whole lot of 'I don’t knows,'" Stacie Toups said, adding they faced several end of life conversations. "The pull the plug talk."
She didn't know if she'd ever see her husband conscious again, but she fought to get to this point.
"Be the advocate for your loved one. Stay with the doctors. Talk to the doctors, make them talk to you, follow them around if you have to," Stacie Toups said.
After Scott spent two months at University Medical Center, Stacie Toups got an unexpected call Wednesday.
"They're like, 'where do you want him to go?'' I was like, 'wait a minute, he's being released?' 'Yea, today,'" Stacie Toups said.
Scott is now staying in a rehabilitation center for about three weeks.
"I'm learning how to walk, get back up," he said.
"In the best possible way, we're coming to the end of this journey and he can start living his life again," Stacie Toups said.
Scott Toups offers this advice:
"Give these idiots whatever they want. It isn’t worth getting shot. It isn’t worth all the trauma I went through. I mean I try to be brave, but it just didn’t work. I never would have thought this guy would have pulled his gun and shot me but it happened," Toups said.