Clarence Scipio Keeps His Faith After Being Shot on St. Thomas

Being shot by an unknown assailant makes most people angry and frustrated, but Clarence Scipio is definitely not most people.

The 75-year-old St. Thomas resident, who has been the director of St. Ursula’s Multipurpose and Seniors’ Center for 22 years, was the victim of a shooting on Sunday evening, August 19.

Scipio had just left Nazareth Church and was on his way to the R.L. Schneider Hospital to visit a friend when nature called and he took a detour to 10th Street behind K-Mart in downtown St. Thomas.

“It was between 8:30 and 9 p.m. and I had just stepped out of my car and was standing right near to it when I heard someone behind me say, ‘I want all your money,’” said Scipio. “I thought the person was joking around with me and I didn’t pay any attention. The person said it again and I finally looked back and saw a man with a gun in his hand.”

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Scipio got back into his car, but was unable to close the door before the assailant was upon him.

Gunman Steals Wallet
“The guy had the gun in one hand and was pulling on my door with the other hand,” said Scipio. “He wouldn’t let me shut the door and that is when he must have noticed my wallet in my back left pocket. That’s when he shot me and took my wallet.”

The bullet entered Scipio’s left forearm, traveled through his lower stomach and exited out his upper right leg. The gunman, who Scipio described as a black man between 28 and 34 with long dredlocks tucked back in a woven cap, ran down the street with the stolen wallet after he fired the gun.

“I drove myself to the hospital and it was a good thing I was so close because when I arrived at the emergency area my leg was going numb,” Scipio said.

Even after arriving at the hospital, Scipio wasn’t sure that everything was going to be fine.

“When I got there, the doctor looked at the wound and there was so much blood they didn’t know if the bullet was still in my leg or not,” he said. “The doctor said if the bullet was still in there or if it hit a bone, or organ or nerve, I may not be able to walk again. It was scary.”

No Organs, Bones, Nerves Hit
After the doctor took X-Ray tests and nurses cleaned the blood from his leg, the bullet exit wound was discovered.

“It really is amazing that the bullet didn’t hit an organ or bone or a nerve as it shot through my body,” said Scipio. “I thank God for that.”
Scipio spent five days in the hospital and returned to St. Ursula’s as soon as he was able. Instead of harboring anger and resentment because of the attack, Scipio prays for the man who shot him.

“I’m sorry for the younger people today and what they have to face,” he said. “I’ve been praying for the guy who did this to me. I’m inspired to do more for the public now.”

“I want the guy who did this to me to know that I am praying for him and hoping that he can turn his life around,” Scipio said.