D.C. sniper victim Paul Laruffa recalls horror of shooting
On his 15-acre farm in St. Mary's County, Paul Laruffa says his horse, of all things, is a reminder of what happened to him 10 years ago.
After all, the horse's name is "Sniper Survivor."
“I'll never forget it. I remember it and remember exactly what happened,” Laruffa says.
D.C. snipers Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad shot and robbed Laruffa on Sept. 5th, 2002 when he was about to drive away from his Clinton, Md. restaurant.
“All I know is the window just exploded with a really loud bang,” he says. “The window shattered all over me the driver's side window and shots came raining in.”
He was shot five times with a 22-caliber handgun and today has lingering numbness in his left arm and bullet fragments in his chest.
He says he's no longer haunted by what happened but admits it's difficult to listen to the 911 calls from that night.
The snipers stole his laptop and $3,500 in restaurant receipts which they later used to buy the infamous Chevy Caprice.
“They literally used my money to finance the operation,” Laruffa says.
Laruffa says the capture and conviction of the snipers helped him move on with his life but that being questioned at the trial directly by Muhammad, who acted as his own attorney, was quite strange.
“I'm looking at him knowing this guy did it - there wasn't any doubt,” he says.
He chose not to attend Muhammad's execution. He says Muhammad almost proves evil exists and can walk around.
But, he admits to feeling differently about Malvo, who has since expressed remorse.
“I think justice was done but I still think someday I might want to talk to him,” he says.
Laruffa is adamant that he's not going to spend any more of his life being angry at the snipers because then, he says, they win.
Instead, he's focusing on the positive - his survival.