COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) — An Iowa man says he is lucky to be alive after a New Year’s morning carjacking.
Derek Howe was shot and left in the cold and said that he had to play dead so thieves would let him live.
“Somebody opened the door and told me to get out,” Howe recalled.
He says he was taking a nap in his warm car in Council Bluffs just three hours into the New Year.
“I tried to grab the door and shut it again and that’s when I heard the pop,” he said, then realizing he had been shot. “Just felt like a punch really, a really hard punch… I rolled out so they thought I was dead so they wouldn’t try and, you know, finish it off.”
Howe says the bullet is still lodged inside his chest.
“It could have gotten his vital organs,” explained his worried mother, Angy Howe.
It wasn’t until the next morning that she learned her son was hurt.
“I had some broken messages from Derek and I called the hospital and they told me my son had been shot,” she said.
His car turned up damaged in an Omaha, Nebraska impound lot. The family shared pictures of trash, cigarette ash and butts littering the vehicle.
Derek fears the car may not run again after extensive damage to the front end.
“If they had fun from it, whatever, I hope that it was worth. If they get caught, the jail time that they’re going to have to do for shooting me…They disrespected my property that I had to work hard for to get.”
“These cowards that wore ski masks to carjack my son who was doing nothing… sleeping? I hope they are found, I really do and I hope that justice is served,” said Angy.
Derek says he was still half asleep when he was shot. As he tumbled out, he only recalled hearing the deep voices of two men. Council Bluffs police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 712-328-7867.