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‘The mystery still exists,’ says man shot in face nearly 10 years ago

'Anybody that shoots another person... certainly has no conscience.'
Posted at 8:55 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 12:33:52-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Nearly ten years ago, a Henrico County man was shot in the face while he stood in the kitchen of his Twin Hickory home. He survived, but the search for the person or people responsible continues.

Thursday, as the anniversary approaches next week, the victim and the Henrico County Police detectives working to solve his case put out another plea for information.

Speaking to media at the home where it happened, and where he still lives, Terry Nero recounted how when he was shot, his mother was standing only a few feet from him.

“That night she was frantic. She hasn’t forgotten one bit of this,” said Nero.

Henrico County Police said that a person hiding in the trees behind Nero’s home fired one shot from a large-caliber rifle.

When CBS 6 spoke to Nero about his case in 2018, he recounted how his face was ripped to shreds and shattered his jaw. He said it was so bad, he had to lean forward on all fours in the ambulance, so he wouldn't choke on his own blood.

Nero said he has had 40 surgeries and procedures, including the removal of both fibulas to reconstruct his jaw, and the injuries have changed the way he lives.

“I eat different, I drink different, I walk different. I breathe different. This is not complaining. I’ve adjusted to it all. I’m just happy I’m alive,” said Nero.

But what Nero does not have yet is closure in his case, as his would-be killer has not been caught.

“Clearly. It’s ten years later and we’re not there yet. The mystery still exists,” added Nero.

Nero said he wants closure not only for himself and his family, but for the community as a whole.

“Anybody that shoots another person, that amount of deliberate detail, certainly has no conscience and I think we all could agree is easily capable of doing that again if they haven’t already,” said Nero. “We are a civil society and there’s a least one individual out there that’s acting severely uncivil.”

Henrico County Police Detective Doug West, who has worked Nero’s case since 2013, said time is one of the challenges they are facing.

“Trying to go back and reinterview people and get their take on things from ten years ago. You know, people forget. Stories tend to change,” said West. “We’ve continued to talk to anyone we can talk to about it. We talk to people from all over the Richmond area and we’re hoping someone else that we haven’t talked to is willing to talk with us more.”

Nero said he has a theory as to why someone fired a shot through in his window.

"I was in the middle of a court case trying to protect a family member, and that's it. I was in court trying to protect a family member, and I had been to court many times for that sole purpose," Nero told CBS 6 in 2018. He said he believes that case is directly connected to the attempt on his life.

Thursday, detectives told CBS 6 they have looked at multiple motives behind the shooting but have not decided upon any particular one. West said they are seeking more information about the lead up to the shooting and what occurred after.

“We believe that there are people with knowledge about this event. Events that led up to it and following and we’d like to hear from them,” added West. “Ten years is a long time. I think if someone has something they feel like they’re ready to share that maybe they weren’t or maybe they weren’t completely honest previously, we’re not upset about that, we’re just trying to get some information.”

Henrico County Police Chief Humberto I. “Hum” Cardounel, Jr. even lent his voice to the plea for tips.

Nero said those people who know something about his case should come forward sooner rather than later, adding it is not going to be good for them when Judgement Day comes.

“In court and beyond,” said Nero.

If you have any information about Nero’s case, please call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or use the Crime Stoppers P3 Tip app on your smartphone.