UPDATE – As of December 6, 2021, Sedarius Dennis plead guilty and was sentenced to 20 years, 12 of which will be in Jackson State Prison for the shooting of myself, my wife and another friend. It was a really hard morning but the sound of handcuffs going on has never sounded better.
I made this video above late last year and then I had to write a victims impact statement for the court. We are going on over 2 years out since it happened and I can’t believe we are still having to deal with the court side of things. Here is the victim impact statement and my video on what happened above.
Sedarius Arshun Dennis Shot Me For Just Trying To Help
On December 9th 2018, I was shot by Sedarius Arshun Dennis in the hip. The gunshot completely severed my femoral artery, femoral vein, two hamstring muscles and fractured my hip. He also shot at my wife and hit my friend Justin in the back.
We were attending the company Christmas party for my wife. After the official part of the party, we saw Sedarius. He was getting very loud and hitting on other female employees. We received a call from his wife, who was also at the party, that it would probably be a good idea for him to go to bed. My wife and I walked up to him and suggested it might be time. He agreed and went with us willingly while also pointing at another female employee saying “she is going to get me in trouble” laughing. When we got to his hotel room, we realized that his wife had packed all of her stuff and left.
At that time, my wife and I were talking to Sedarius. It became aware to us that he did not previously know that his wife had left the hotel to go home and not stay the night. He found out when he got into the room and said “she packed up all of her stuff and left”. At this point, he started going back and forth on whether or not he wanted to stay in his room or go downstairs. This conversation continued and we were asking him to stay for the safety of his job and his marriage. At one point, my wife was handed his phone. He had called Justin.
Justin then came up to the room as well. After he had seen what was going on, he asked us to wait outside. We could hear Justin through the door saying the same things that we had been…“Be a good husband”, “be a good father”. Justin then came outside into the hallway to talk to my wife and myself. He proceeded to say that he would take it from here and this isn’t our issue. That is when the first bullet came through the closed door.
We would come to find out that Sedarius shot 7 times through that closed door. The first shot hit me directly in the hip. We knew what had happened as soon as I got hit. I put my hand own on my hip and it came up completely red instantly. We took off and that is when Justin got hit in the back and luckily my wife was missed. My wife and I only made it halfway down the hallway until I collapsed. I was losing too much blood too quickly. My wife tied her sweater around my leg and put my leg over her shoulder. The last thing I remember is my wife screaming at me “You have to fight. You have to fight for me and Daniel!”. I would later find out that Sedarius left the room and walked right by us as my wife leaned over my body to try to protect me from him doing more damage.
The next thing I remember is being on a hospital bed being rushed to surgery. They woke me up just long enough to see my wife. She told me to keep fighting. All I said was “this sucks…I was just trying to do the right thing.” She said “I know and I Iove you”.
I took 11 units of blood transfusion that night. My wife found out I was still alive at the police station 4 hours later when an officer said they finally called off homicide because I made it. I woke up in the ICU completely incubated and I still wasn’t sure what was going on. The surgeons at Grady then explained the extent of my injuries and how serious they were. They still weren’t sure if I was going to keep my leg but I should just focus on the fact that I was still here. No one survives that amount of blood loss from a femoral artery shot.
To make matters even worse, Sedarius’s mom used to work at Grady and showed up in the ICU using her old credentials. I was under an alias at the time and was supposed to be protected from anyone outside of my immediate family. She also randomly showed up the first time I was able to see my son under the same credentials. She was campaigning for her son and literally wanted me to be sorry for her while I was on a hospital bed.
Over the course of the rest of my stay at Grady, multiple doctors and surgeons would just come in and look at me because of how rare it is for someone to survive what happened to me.
They caught Sedarius in the CNN parking deck. He did not seem intoxicated and told them exactly where the gun was in his hotel room from the police chest cam footage.
We would come to find out that the damage to my leg would be life changing. A normal person’s blood flow is supposed to be 500ms by volume and mine is over 1,400ms. The valves in my left leg are damaged due to the blood loss. I have to wear a compression sock on my left leg every day for the rest of my life or it swells almost instantly. My leg also doesn’t get as much fuel (blood) as the rest of my body, so it becomes tired really fast.
The exit wound fractured my hip at the sit bone and severed 2 of the 3 hamstring muscles at the connection point. This makes it so that my leg is in pain every day and it hurts to sit for long periods of time. I have already had 1 PRP shot, over a years’ worth of physical therapy (that only stopped because of COVID) and we are still looking at a possible surgery for the hamstrings that we will be making the decision on in February. We have held off until now because some of the best surgeons in the state are worried that they may make things worse by opening me up due to the “ripple effect” a gunshot wound can have in that area.
I had to go through over a year of painful physical therapy to even just be able to straighten my leg back out again.
What does this mean in my life? I used to be an elite level cyclist. I would ride a 100 mile road ride one day and then do an extreme downhill mountain bike track the next. Now I must have an electric assist bike to even ride with my son at all. I used to run our neighborhood daily every morning. Now I have to walk the uphill’s because of leg pain, and I can’t do any action that would be considered “explosive” which includes running over a jog. The actions of Sedarius Arshun Dennis have altered my life physically for forever. We are also out of pocket over $20,000 due to physical therapy and medical procedures to try to fix the issues he created.
That doesn’t even get into the mental changes. I am not the same person. I am struggling to get back to the happy husband and dad I was before this happened. The ability to trust people has become incredibly hard. I find that I start to see the worst in people rather than the best. I can hardly sleep due to discomfort and memories of this happening. My wife and my son can see the negative changes in me and that is with my wife dealing with her own mental repercussions of the event. Our 9 year old son asks if we are ok now even if we just cough. We are no longer the strong parents that he doesn’t have to worry about. Sedarius has taken part of our lives that has been incredibly hard to get back and some of our lives may never come back at all.
What makes all of this even worse is his complete lack of remorse or responsibility of what has happened. He started going by his middle name Arshun after he got out of jail only a couple of weeks after he shot me. On 2/19/2020, he had an ex-employee and his best friend, Austin Flockhart, try to friend my wife on Facebook (screenshot below). On 2/12/2020, he created a new Facebook profile where he was joking about getting back on Tinder which is a dating/hookup app (screenshot below). He is still married. He also suggested that a person that he worked with interview with my wife and to tell her he said it was a great place to work (insert date). Just last month, he interviewed with my wife’s old team at her last job that he knew about. Every couple of months, he finds a way to show us that he thinks he is going to get away with this. We later found out that he had trashed his cousin’s music studio and threatened him as well (pictures to be provided if needed). Knowing what I know now, I would have never been anywhere near him. At the time, I thought we were friends. We had hung out several times and I had no reason to think he was dangerous. It is obvious now who he is and he does not care who he hurts in the process. He will shake his head and put on a show…but he doesn’t mean it. Actions before and after this has happened have proved that.
By all measurable statistics, I should be dead. It is a miracle that I am still here. I am failing to see how Sedarius should get any sort of pass for me and God fighting to still be here with my family. He shows no remorse. Knowing what we know now, he is selfish and violent. He will blame anything else but himself for his actions. He even had his lawyer ask for probation at the beginning of the court process. We will have to deal with the repercussions of his actions for the rest of our lives. My body and my mind will never be the same all for trying to help him with his decisions. We have no physical or financial recourse for his actions. We are out of pocket and mind for those for the rest of our lives. We just hope that justice is served so we can have some closure and move on with our life that has now been permanently altered.