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Two weeks ago, a man called 9-1-1 after being shot several times–but it was just a few moments prior that the suspects asked him to take their picture.

The photographer was live-streaming his night on Facebook for 45 minutes before meeting the suspects, which is when the three young men began using racial slurs.

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“My man, I told you you can’t say the n-word, you’re not black,” the photographer pleaded with the teenagers. They continue to use the slur, with one of the young men firing back, “I say what the f*** I want.” The victim continues to reprimand the boys, saying, “No, you cannot.. not in front of me.”

After the teens continue to use the racial slur, the photographer asks, “Didn’t I tell you don’t say the n-word.. didn’t I say that.”

That’s when the gunfire is heard.

Somehow, even after being shot a whopping 9 times, the photographer survived. A reporter from Fox 10 Phoenix spoke to him via Facetime as he recovers as the victim remembers the agonizing pain he felt that night after the encounter.

“While I was on the ground I was just praying and asking God not now. I was just saying not now, not now.”

Because the suspects never stole his camera, the photo evidence left behind helped identify the shooters: Ricardo Mendoza-Sanchez and Angel Oretega Romero, both 18-years-old. They were arrested, along with another 17-year-old boy. All three have now been accused of aggravated assault and street gang activity.

Even though the young men have been arrested, the victim is asking why they’re not being attempted murder instead of just aggravated assault? “It was two people that shot me and they shot me nine times, so how can you call that aggravated assault like what was aggravated,” the photographer questioned.  “Like they tried to kill me?”

Even though photography found him in this painful situation, the victim told Fox 10 that he plans to get back to his passion of photography when he’s 100 percent. He also called his situation–surviving the shooting–a miracle.

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