MANCHESTER — When an acquaintance ended up pointing a handgun at Terrence "Big" Jackson, the 20-year-old visitor to Manchester charged at his shooter and took a bullet in the face, but stayed alive, he said.
Jackson, who said his jaw was shattered in three places, was shot Friday morning in an apartment at the corner of Orange and Union streets. He spoke via telephone Tuesday from his bed at the Elliot Hospital.
"My life was in danger, that's all I knew," Jackson said. "If I didn't charge at him, he probably would have shot me in the head or chest."
Manchester police have said little about the case, other than it happened just before 6:30 a.m. Friday at an Orange Street residence. Police said they could not initially speak to Jackson because a breathing tube was in his throat.
Much of the early information about the shooting came from neighbors, who say the north downtown neighborhood is riddled with crime and drugs. They said they saw the bleeding, 300-pound Jackson stumble from his apartment before he collapsed.
Some said Jackson was shot when he opened the front door to his apartment early Friday.
But Jackson's account differs. He said he let his shooter into the apartment. Jackson said he met the man at a friend's house and he seemed like a "cool guy." He would not name him and urged a reporter to contact police. The New Hampshire Union Leader was unable Tuesday to reach a detective involved in the case.
Jackson said he and the unnamed man shared a few beers at times, and Jackson eventually ended up owing him a couple hundred dollars. Jackson said he repaid all but $20. Several weeks ago, a violent fight took place between the two over the money.
Jackson said he got the best of the man.
"He felt violated as a man," Jackson said.
But when the man showed up at his apartment, Jackson let him in.
"We started talking. Once I told him I got nothing for him, he started to get a little rowdy," Jackson said.
The man wouldn't let Jackson leave. A woman in the apartment left via a window, and in 20 minutes a ride appeared for the man. Another woman came by the apartment; she was sent away.
Then the man lifted the gun, which Jackson thinks was a .38-caliber handgun.
"He said, 'Take this.' Once he pointed the gun, I charged him," Jackson said.
Jackson said it's the second time he's been shot. About a year ago, he was shot in the stomach in the Bronx.
Jackson said he was in Manchester visiting a friend and was watching over his apartment while the friend was on vacation. Now he is in the hospital on a liquid diet and has to wait six weeks before he can eat normal food.
"I'm going to go back home (to the Bronx)," he said, "and probably never come back."