A man whose father shot him in the arm after seeing him injecting heroin has said he forgives his father and still loves him.
Zak Matte says he has been struggling with an addiction to heroin for most of his adult life. The 27-year-old was staying at his parents' home in Greenfield, Wisconsin, while he tried to detox before going to rehab, WISN reports.
When Matte's 61-year-old father saw him injecting himself with heroin, the horrified dad pulled out a gun and shot his son in the arm.
Matte's father said that he was attempting to shoot at a wall and missed, hitting his son by accident, but Matte, who said that his father knew that he was trying to wean himself off of heroin, said he doesn't believe that his dad was aiming for the wall, according to WKOW.
"I caught him shooting up, and I lost it, I've been dealing this for a while, and I just had enough and I did something stupid," said Matte's dad.
"He saw me doing it, and he just flipped out," Matte recalled. "Bullet went through my elbow, into my shoulder, tearing all this muscle. They had to resew it all together."
"My dad right after it happened just threw a little washcloth at me and walked away," Matte said. "I had to get a towel and make a tourniquet myself as I'm screaming and I'm calling 911 and loved ones like if I die I love you, you know. I thought I was going to die for sure. There was so much blood everywhere, you know."
The bullet reportedly severed an artery on its way through his arm and into his shoulder. A neighbor who works as a firefighter was able to stop the bleeding in Matte's arm, which police say may have saved his life. While doctors fixed most of the damage done to the arm, Matte can barely move his hand now because of nerve damage.
Matte said that he forgives his father for shooting him, and wants to move on.
"I forgive him, and I still love him and everything. I understand like that's all you can do," he said. "You can't do anything else about this at this point. Might as well get to the acceptance stage, and just try to get over it, you know?"
It is not yet clear whether or not Matte's father will face criminal charges for the shooting, or whether Matte will face charges for possession of heroin, according to the Independent Journal Review.
Matte has left his parents' house, and is reportedly living with friends who are helping him with a GoFundMe while he gets clean from heroin.