“So if I don’t make it, I really love everybody,” Nix said at the time, while appearing to be on a stretcher with a large bandage over his chest. “I can’t contact nobody right now, and I am glad they are putting it on the line for me. I love you all.”
On Wednesday, Nix tweeted, “I’m alive everyone. The bullet that hit me ricocheted off my sternum into my lung. Surgery is the next step so keep praying for me.”
According to a police report, the incident took place near the airport in Nix’s hometown of Jacksonville shortly after 9 p.m. Doctors who attended to Nix told authorities that he said two young men approached him while he was filling his tires, shined a flashlight in his face and demanded something. He said he pushed them away, at which point he felt a gunshot hit his chest.
A witness told police that she heard a popping sound at the gas station and saw two or three men around the air pump, one of whom pointed a silver handgun at Nix before fleeing the scene.
Jacksonville police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the state of the investigation, but they posted on Wednesday a request for help in identifying individuals who appeared to be suspects in Nix’s shooting. The police report said one of the suspects, thought to have been holding the handgun, was wearing an olive jacket, blue jeans and a ski mask, while another was wearing a multicolored jacket with blue sweatpants and red slides.
A K-9 unit was brought in Tuesday night to help search for the suspects, who Nix said ran behind a car wash.
A third-round draft pick in 2014 by the Houston Texans, Nix played one season with the team and then the following season with the New York Giants. He spent time in 2016 and 2017 on the practice squads of Washington and Jacksonville before persistent knee issues effectively ended his NFL career.
At Notre Dame, Nix was a popular player who nicknamed himself “Irish Chocolate.” As a junior in 2012, he helped the school reach the BCS championship game, in which it lost to Alabama, and made watch lists for national awards as a senior before his season was cut short by knee surgery.
Nix told Jacksonville station WJXT on Wednesday morning, “I’m doing well.”