A man called homophobic slurs at gunpoint in a viral video that has been shared thousands of times on Twitter is speaking exclusively with 7 Action News.
The victim tells me he feared his life was over. Now, he wants to make sure no one else has to go through this."
"What was going through my mind was not me, I don't want to go out like that,” he tells us. “I feel like my life matters."
Asking us not to use his name, this 23-year-old hate crime victim says he's still in disbelief.
It was Tuesday night at a liquor store on Lyndon on the west side that he found himself being called over to a car, told to remove his pants and then called a homophobic slur by a gun wielding man.
"I was in denial like I couldn't believe it. Like whoa is this a dream or really happening. Not in my own neighborhood seriously," he says.
Despite fearing for his safety, he's sharing his story so others don't have to become victims. Since the Twitter post by the guy with the gun that has been shared thousands of times, many others have weighed in calling it stupid, uncalled for and rude and disrespectful - among other things.
"A lot of people are doing killings, but to those who are living we need to love life more and have more love," he says.
We’ve put the victim in touch with the newly formed Fair Michigan Justice Project, a task force made up of police, prosecutors and private partners, committed to going after those who target victims based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
"In our minds, it has met the elements for such a charge," says Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody. "Our message is simple. We will find you and arrest you."
Late Wednesday night another video surfaced of the gun-wielding suspect taunting police and showing no remorse for his actions.
Police are following up tonight, urging anyone who can identify the suspect to call them right away.