"He proceeded to tell me, 'this is not a joke. I will shoot you if I have to,'" Brian Pemble said, recalling the harrowing moments he was robbed at gunpoint and later shot at the Marengo gas station store where he worked.
"I had a pistol pushed up against my back," Pemble said. "That fast. Didn't even get a chance to even look around."
The 35-year-old said he was pistol whipped, twice. He handed over what cash he could before one of the robbers pointed a gun an inch away from his leg and shot him.
SEE ALSO | Armed robberies in Aurora, Naperville, Downers Grove, Marengo may be linked, police say
"The part that sticks in my head most is my jeans, that the fibers, blowing outwards when he pulled the trigger," he said.
The father of five said it was his faith that kept him calm. His wife Melissa said the scary ordeal has brought their family even closer.
"It's humbling that anybody can be put in this position," she said. "In a moment's notice, that you're this close to losing someone you love."
Pemble said the night before he was shot, his wife told him they were expecting another child. So far, more than $13,000 has been raised to help the Pemble family.
SEE ALSO | Marengo gas station clerk shot in overnight armed robbery, community raises thousands in hours
Pemble said he's grateful to have survived, yet the recovery has been painful.
"I get up to go to the bathroom, which is like 10 feet away, but as soon as I get there and back, feels like I want to cut off my legs," he said. "It's just that bad."
But he knows he's not alone thanks to the overwhelming support of his hometown.
"For all of them just to come out and show their support is, it's a little emotional," Pemble said.
The suspects in last week's robbery have already been tied to at least three other crimes in Aurora. And investigators in Naperville and Downers Grove are looking into the possibility recent robberies there may also be linked.