James Simmons thought he was going to die.

2 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- James Simmons, 52, told FCN he thought he'd never again have the chance to sit down and have a meal with his family. He was shot early Monday morning along McDuff Avenue South in Jacksonville. He said he is lucky to be alive.

Related: Man shot on Westside while riding bicycle

"Am I going to die?" he asked.

That was the terrifying thought Simmons had.

"I could feel it. I was hurt," he said, describing the pain. "There was blood all over my hands."

He says was collecting scrap metal along Jacksonville's McDuff Avenue South to make a living. He returned on his bicycle to get his flashlight that he forgot when he says he saw two men.

"They had hoods on, masks over their face," he said as he waved his hand in front of his face. "One of them was shooting at me."

He said he heard 3 shots. His daughter pulled off the bandages to show the painful results. Simmons said from now on, things will change.

"I'm going to carry a weapon. I'm going to protect myself," he said. "I have a right to protect myself."

Police have not yet made any arrests and they're asking anyone with info about this to call them. Simmons wants whomever did this to be caught. He's got a message for them.

"I'm not a young person, but y'all got to think," he said. "The next person you shoot at might have a gun and he might be a better shot. You might get killed."

If you know anything about this shooting, call the First Coast Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

You can remain anonymous.

2 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/local/2014/09/03/man-shot-while-riding-bicycle-speaks-out/14986941/