To find out the answer to this question, I couldn’t find any volunteers. So instead, I headed out to the interwebs in search of the best answer that I could find. Not to my surprise, there was a whole thread on Reddit that was dedicated to this exact question. After all, who could better tell you what it feels like to be shot except…a person who has been shot.
As a warning, please be advised that many of these stories are quite powerful. Some of them detail violence associated with domestic abuse and traumatic times in war. Some of the stories also contain strong language.
I didn’t even realize that I had been shot through the face because the only real pain I felt was from the exit wound behind my ear. It was an excruciating burning sensation, but what I remember most was the horrifying feeling of the hot blood pouring out of my mouth and down my back. I absolutely thought I was going to die, but never actually lost consciousness until I went into surgery at the hospital…
…My son (7 at the time) and I were coming home late from visiting family. I let him out at [our] front door so he could go inside to use the bathroom and was about to drive around back to park the car when I noticed an old junker car idling in the street at the entrance to our driveway. I knew something wasn’t right, parked the car and ran to catch up with my son at the front door. As I got there, a man with a gun pointed at us came up from the side of our house. He told me to “show me the money” but I was speechless. My son was trying frantically to open the front door and my husband inside heard the commotion and came to the door. As he saw what was happening, he pushed open our heavy iron door into the guy, knocking him backward. The guy shot (we believe at my husband) hitting me in the face as he ran off. Luckily our neighbor had already called the cops and they arrived quickly. Lots of blood loss and a long recovery, but no residual physical damage really. The scar on my nose is hardly noticeable and the scar behind my ear stays covered by my hair most of the time so I don’t really think about it. Also, I was pregnant at the time all of this happened, and my son was born a few months later perfectly healthy. Pretty crazy shit.
Used to live in a really shitty part of Chicago. One night coming home from work I got mugged, wasn’t my first time. Guy asked for my wallet and phone gave it up without hesitation. Pointed his gun at me and pulled the trigger shot me in the chest. Blacked out immediately and had some sharp pains when I woke up in the hospital. Caught the guy a few months later when after he shot and killed an old man who’s house he’d broken into.
I had an abusive boyfriend when I was a teen, one night he had been playing poker with his buddies and drinking. I had been told to lay in bed and wait. Which is where I was always told to be when I was to be at his neck and call but also out of the way. After about 4 or 5 hours of him and his buddies playing poker and drinking, he called for me to come out and sit with him. I did, when I got there, his one friend made a comment like, “how the hell did you get you bitch to obedient?” And my boyfriend replied, “she knows where she stands.”
Now, one of my boyfriends friends (we’ll call him Joe from now on) had had his suspicions about my boyfriend (who will be Alex from now on). Joe had asked me a few times if I was ok, but I never said anything because I was too scared and alone. At this point Alex had made me cut contact with all my family, friends, school. Everything.
So, while the boys kept playing and drinking, Alex told me to sit on his lap to give him good luck. Alex continued to lose, and Joe could see that I was getting nervous. I knew it would be a worse night for me if Alex lost all his money. So Joe, thinking he was helping, started trying to cheat to make Alex win. This is where I get fuzzy on the details because I’ve blocked out a lot of it. Alex figured out that Joe was cheating to lose, and he didn’t like that. So he was asking Joe why. Joe just said he must have hit a rough streak or something, Alex didn’t believe him, so he started getting aggressive towards Joe. I (stupidly) made a comment like, “leave him alone. Maybe he’s just bad at poker?” That made Alex feel like maybe there was a reason that I was standing up for Joe and started berating me and calling me a slut and how I was cheating on him with Joe and if I was so in love with him, why didn’t I just go home with him tonight. He slapped me across the face, which was the first time he had ever hit me in front of people, and Joe grabbed me and said it was time to go. Alex got up and took a swing at Joe, they had a bit of a scuffle while the 3 other guys tried to calm everyone down.
Joe grabbed my hand, and started to take me up the stairs and outof the house. Alex was yelling after me, telling me that I was a good for nothing whore, and how Joe would see how slutty I was and I wasn’t to come back to him when I fucked up with Joe. As Joe and I were getting into his car, Alex came running out of his house, pointing a gun at Joe. Joe said something like, “Alex, just calm down. I’m going to take llama to my place so everyone can have a breather and we’ll figure it out later” Alex then turned his gun on me instead, and said something like, “it’s not your fault, Joe, it’s hers.”
Joe tried to tackle Alex but the trigger had been pulled. Luckily Joe had pushed his arm just enough that the bullet hit my ear and didn’t do too much damage. I have a tiny bit of hearing lose, my ear had to be reconstructed, but I made it out alive.
Never commented before. I guess it’s time. I was robbed and shot on August 19th of 2006. I was put on my knees and shot in the back of the head, execution style. The bullet, a .40, entered my head directly beneath and behind my right ear and exited about two inches below my Adam’s apple. I fell forward, face first. I didn’t feel myself hit the ground. Retrospectively, I was in shock. But at the time it was slow and painless. Like it is in the movies. It was quiet too. Loud first, a big bang, like a firework right behind my head. Then silence. I didn’t know what had happened. But I was still conscious. I recall the whole thing. Fortunately (?) I felt the front door slam far away as the robbers ran out. They weren’t prepared to murder that day. Things had gone wrong for all of us. The door was heavy, it was a vibration in my otherwise distant world. I was looking ahead, across the plane on my white carpet. Things were diagonal; somehow I registered it was wrong, but I didn’t mind. It was only when I saw my blood on my white carpet that I realized something was wrong. It was red. The carpet was white. I knew there was cleaning do. I thought to myself.. “oh… That’s bad. That doesn’t belong there…” Then I began to recall what had lead up to it. Being marched around my home for the valuables. Them asking me if I had rope. The hammer I grabbed and swung, unsuccessfully before I heard the firework. Then I knew what had happened. It’s hard for me to say what it felt like because I didn’t feel much until I was in the hospital. But I do recall the way it burned at first. Then I was just wet, and cold, and getting colder quickly. I called 911, and told them I was shot, and I thought it was in the head. I tell the story sometimes comically. But in truth I had to listen to the call for testimony. I was meek, desperate, gargling on my own blood. It was my worst moment, recorded for posterity’s sake. What does it feel like? It felt like a cut. A deep, white cut. It felt like all my memories and my personality and what I was or would be were draining out of a hole I couldn’t plug.
I got an in and out through the shoulder in Afghanistan, it didn’t really hurt because I’d just got hit by an RPG blasttoo ha. For me anyway I didn’t immediately think I was going to die, I thought I’d lost my leg and for some reason that freaked me out more. I didn’t really think about it much after I realized I hadn’t lost it, I mean pain wise. A lot of other guys were hit a lot worse or dead so I guess my head was occupied, shit just stopped working though (my right leg/left wrist). I dont really remember pain at the time, but i mean 7 or 8 guys had just got killed at the OP so getting hit again was a very very real possibility. Me and another guy managed to crawl out though after another group came up to reenforce and I hopped to a medevac with some help.
It fucking hurt like hell later on though but I had drugs by that point. Unfortunately if you want to get out of the hospital youve gotta be off IV drugs so i stopped those asap. So I mean it fucking hurt but percs and plenty of alcohol and it knocked that shit right out (until the next morning).
I was also shot in an attempted mugging in Chicago Northside (Rogers Park). My mistake was jogging late night through the alley’s to avoid foot traffic on the sidewalks near the redline. Two dudes (thugs) walking opposite of me, stopped me dead in my tracks and pulled out a concealed revolver and asked for my ipod… And ofcourse, my thoughts at the time were.. youre not taking my music because then i wont have anything to listen to at work the next day…(that was my honest thought). Having watch the Discovery Channel’s The Science of Fighting, I, in an instant, moved to disarm the gun toting guy by snatching it from his loose grip…. but of course that didnt work. I think he fired off a round in attempt to protect himself from me taking his gun. Any way, shot fired, i saw the pop, felt the energy, the heat, and started running away opposite direction in zig zag, like i used to do in basketball drills. All the while, the other guy did nothing, nobody chased me, i ran to the end of the alley to safety and and called 911 as soon as i ran back up to my apt. CPD and medics arrived 3-4mins, disrobed me, found an entrance wound, no exit wound. Adrenaline wore off, and yes it burns all around the affected area’s.
Anyway I kept the bullet in side me since it was more complicated to remove (.22 cal) and no it doesn’t trip the Airport metal detectors :/
And according to Ebaums World:
First it feels hot, then wet. The body has a hard time processing what just happened to you, and pain isn’t your first sensation. You don’t get blown backwards like in TV and the movies. The bullet goes into you, and you mostly just fall down. If the bullet goes all the way through you, force of the bullet’s exit actually knocks you forward slightly. Then you go into a momentary state of shock. You’re confused, in disbelief of what just happened. Then a combination of adrenalin and fear kick in. Your thinking becomes very instinctual, simple, and survival-oriented. You don’t feel the wound until seconds or minutes later depending on your adrenalin and fear. Then the pain begins. You feel a growing, throbbing sensation emitting from the wound. The pain can last for a long time afterwards. So try not to get shot; it’s probably out of your element.