INDIANAPOLIS — Jonathan Hochstetler turned 40 in the hospital this week. He left Eskenazi Hospital Thursday afternoon heartbroken but grateful to be alive.
His wife is gone, shot and killed in a robbery that he survived despite taking a bullet through his neck.
"It grazed my spine,” Jonathan said, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace after being discharged from the hospital. “I should be paralyzed. I should be dead. I believe it's a miracle, a miracle from God. I just thank God for that."
Jonathan and Wilma Hochstetler were working on a broken-down trailer a week ago at a roofing jobsite at 37th Street and High School Road on the west side of Indianapolis when they were robbed by two men with guns.
"Next thing that I know, my wife is falling beside me,” Jonathan said, his voice trembling.
He believes he could identify at least one of the shooters. The family says the incident was captured on video by a security video. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have released no suspect information.
"Not that them being jailed or in prison for a long time is going to change anything for me or Wilma or my family, but they're going to do this again,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan left Eskenazi one week after he was shot. He underwent surgery to fuse three vertebrae in his neck. Another surgery repaired his jaw and mouth. He was on a feeding tube for several days but now can swallow soft foods. Doctors expect a full recovery.
Jonathan is going home to Bloomfield just in time for his wife's funeral.
"I took her for granted way too many times,” Jonathan said. “She was a wonderful wife. She was an amazing soulmate."
Visitation for Wilma is Friday, Sept. 25 at Elnora Baptist Institute. The religious school will be livestreaming the funeral Saturday, Sept. 26 beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET. The burial will follow at the Wilmington Christian Fellowship Cemetery.
The couple has four children. Their 6-year-old son, Bradon, was inside the truck and saw his parents get shot.
Wilma was the youngest of 14 siblings. Her brothers and sisters visited the shooting site Monday and built a memorial for her.