A Washington state man who survived an attempt on his life last year opened up in an emotional interview on Fox Nation’s “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” and described troubling details of the attack believed to be orchestrated by his ex-wife.
Baron Li was heading to work at a local Toyota dealership on July 10, 2020 when he was struck by nine bullets in an ambush shooting in the parking lot of his Bellevue, Washington apartment complex, PEOPLE first reported.
“I was walking out to my car and I heard the first shot, which I thought was fireworks,” Li told host Nany Grace in the latest episode titled “Crime Stories: Miraculous Survival.”
Li said he turned around to find a teenager, who he did not recognize, aiming a pistol in his direction. The boy did not say anything, but fired off eight more rounds.
“At that point, it’s like what I’m going to do,” Li told Grace. “This guy is standing over me, firing at me. So I dove into the car, kind of hiding my head under the wheel, hoping to at least protect my head and my heart. And then he unloads the clip or the magazine into my body, the left side of my body, because that part was unprotected. A total of nine shots is what happened.”
Li sustained wounds to the chest, hips, legs, and arms, shattering multiple bones. The next thing he recalls was the arrival of police and paramedics, who tried to apply a tourniquet around his arms and legs.
“You know, officers do a great job,” Li said, taking direct aim at the “Defund the Police” movement. “I mean, like I said, that if it wasn’t for the detectives and the police officers that responded, I may not be here.”
Li, 48, recalled feeling a sense of “peace” as paramedics tried to transfer him into an ambulance and rush him to a Seattle hospital.
“I felt like at peace, like I was ready to die,” he said. ” I distinctly remember the paramedics were telling me to stay awake. “
Li underwent extensive surgery to remove three bullets, while three remain inside him, he told PEOPLE. The remaining three rounds fired that day exited his body, leaving him with over 10 bullet wounds.
Li also told the publication that while he did not know the shooter, he immediately understood who had sent him.
“I knew it wasn’t random, which is what the police initially tried to suggest,” Li reportedly said. “This was someone my ex-wife sent.”
Police eventually supported Li’s theory, alleging that his 30-year-old ex-wife, Shaerin Kelley, was behind the murder attempt amid a bitter custody dispute over their son Arik, a 6-year-old boy with special needs.
In charging documents, investigators allege Kelley recruited 17-year-old Joseph Good to kill Li, offering him $13,000 in cash and providing the teen access to a GPS tracker she’d allegedly attached to her ex-husband’s car. Detectives allege Good then enlisted the help of Quincy Mendez, also 17, to drive him to Li’s home the morning of the shooting, allegedly promising him $5,000 of Kelley’s payment.
When Li looks back at the incident, he feels a sense of “anger” over what would have happened to his son if he hadn’t survived, he told Grace.
“When all is said and done when I look back, that day was a weird mix of emotions, but anger was actually one of them when I thought about that because of what could have happened to my son if I had died,” he said.
“If it wasn’t for the detectives and the police officers that responded, I may not be here.”
Li said that police believed Kelley was planning a second attempt on his life while he was recovering, and that they had installed “emergency panic buttons” in his home before eventually arresting her and her teenage accomplices.
Kelley, Good, and Menendez have since been charged with premeditated attempted first-degree murder. All three defendants remain in police custody.
Li’s full commentary and additional episodes of “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” are available now exclusively on Fox Nation.
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