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CHICAGO (WGN) — A man is speaking out from his hospital bed two days after he was shot in a Chicago neighborhood while trying to protect his young son from gunfire. 

At the intersection of 70th and Clyde, Donald Muhammad says he was trying to take his 4-year-old son out of the car Sunday night when gunfire erupted. The father said he barely parked and exited the car before the gunshots erupted.

“This is an epidemic and it doesn’t just affect me, it affects children every day. It affects adults. It affects innocent people,” Muhammad told Nexstar’s WGN.

It’s why Muhammad says he’s chosen to speak out after surviving the shooting.

“Physically, I’m well but emotionally and mentally, you’ll never get over that, especially when it involves children,” he said.

Muhammad, a 6-foot-8-inch security and public safety professional, said it wasn’t only his training that kicked into gear but his instincts to protect what matters most to him. He described trying to stay low and using his body to shield his son.

He was struck in the buttocks in the process.

Muhammad’s car, struck by gunfire. (WGN)

The 45-year-old was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he spoke with WGN from his hospital bed on Tuesday. He wanted to share his gratitude for the officers who rushed to his side and helped him and his son, who wasn’t injured, as well as the city’s emergency response and medical staff at the hospital. 

“If I had to use the word hero, they were the real heroes here,” Muhammad said.

Sunday’s shooting occurred just feet from an elementary school where children about Muhammad’s son’s age go to learn. As he recovers from his injuries, he told WGN his number one priority is making sure his little boy is emotionally and mentally OK. 

“They say time heals all wounds, and even as a 4-year-old, we don’t know what children really experience,” he said.

The shooting remains under investigation and nobody has been taken into custody, according to Chicago Police.