NORTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Charles Kinsey is grateful for the support he’s received after getting shot by North Miami Police last week, spawning a case that has gained worldwide attention.
On Thursday, he visited the 26-year-old autistic man who was with him when the officer fired his weapon. Although Arnaldo Rios wasn’t shot, it left him traumatized and in Aventura Hospital, where he’s been ever since.
Now walking with a cane and a noticeable limp, Kinsey, 46, says he was determined to see the patient he cared for while working at Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled.
“When he saw me, he jumped right up and he wanted to cry,” says Kinsey, a behavior technician at the facility.
“When he saw Charlie, he said ‘oh my God, Charlie,’” said Rios’ mother, Gladys Soto.
Rios was hospitalized after injuring himself at the same location of the shooting, a day after the incident.
Cellphone video captured the moments Rios sat cross-legged on a North Miami neighborhood street, holding a toy truck, as police trained their weapons in his direction.
Next to him, Kinsey lay flat on his back, with his arms raised in the air, desperately trying to defuse the situation.
The Police Benevolent Association said law enforcement believed Rios was going to harm Kinsey. However, when one officer fired at Rios, he missed and struck Kinsey in the leg.
“On a scale of one to ten, I would give it an eight. It is kind of hard to stand here too long. It’s a lot of labor for this leg,” says Kinsey. “It came here through my leg, right through my thigh right here.”
The experience has left him with nightmares.
“Mentally, this is disturbing. I play this in my head every day and I can’t sleep at night. Things could have went the other way. I am blessed that it didn’t,” he admits. “I have a big family and if I hadn’t made it through, my whole family would have suffered.”
Kinsey feels he did everything he could to avoid being shot.
“There is nothing else I could have done,” he says. “I believe I did everything I could the right way.”
Rios’ mother says it left her son disturbed.
“When I saw him he was making gunshot noises,” says the family attorney, Matthew Dietz.
“I am very sad and worried about his security and his treatment,” says Soto.
Kinsey’s attorney now hopes to resolve some issues.
“I can tell you that one thing is for sure,” says Hilton Napoleon. “My client was injured and I will make sure that he receives compensation for injuries and pain and suffering.”
The city announced a 90-day plan that includes more crisis intervention training and autism awareness for first responders.
Kinsey says he’s humbled by all of the attention.
“I woke up that morning and I was not expecting this. I believe things happen for a reason. I’m a partial person,” he notes. “I’m here to go through this.”
The officer who shot Kinsey is on administrative leave with pay.
According to Napoleon, an independent FDLE investigation will take 45 to 60 days. His client faces a little longer for therapy on his leg.