Man recovering from being accidentally shot near Red River Gorge

Posted at 7:30 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 19:36:32-05

FLORENCE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Pernell Haizlip, 26, is staying with family members in Boone County while he recovers from a gunshot wound to the head, according to WLWT.

Haizlip lives near the Red River Gorge where family says he "works, sings, writes music and enjoys being in nature."

He told WLWT he and his friends were taking guns apart when Haizlip's best friend accidentally shot his gun, which had a bullet in it.

"Definitely extremely, extremely grateful and thankful to just be alive," Haizlip said.

The accidental shooting happened on the night of Feb. 11. Haizlip was rushed to UK hospital in Lexington.

"That was the hardest call I've ever gotten in my life, especially from the man that thought he killed his best friend," said Melissa Haizlip, Pernell's mother.

Pernell's mother started a fundraiser to help pay her son's expenses while he recovers. On the page, she explained Haizlip's right cheek bone and eye socket were completely shattered. There were additional damages to his jaw, facial nerves and ear.

The Haizlips hope this story illustrates the importance of gun safety and the delicacy of life, according to WLWT.

"We just want to see him get back to his passion and get back to where he loves life in the gorge," said Melissa Haizlip.

In addition to the online fundraiser, the family is planning a benefit to help cover medical bills and expenses. The fundraiser is set for March 20 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at VFW in Elsmere, Ky.