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Bed-Stuy Shooting Victim Uses Story to Shine a Light on Gun Violence

 Antonius Wiriadjaja, 29, has begun blogging about his experience being shot.
Antonius Wiriadjaja, 29, stands in front of the blogging station he uses to tell his story of gun violence.
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A victim of a Bed-Stuy shooting who was left in a medically-induced coma for a week is now recovering, and wants to use his experience to shine a light on gun violence.

Antonius Wiriadjaja, 29, a passerby hit during a July 5 shooting in front of 421 Nostrand Ave., is telling his story through a blog called "How I Survived a Gunshot to the Gut," where he details the experience of being shot and hospitalized, and posts daily photos.

The site was created in order to start a conversation on the need for stricter gun control laws, Wiriadjaja said.

"We can't stop violence, but we can at least try to control the kinds of weapons violent people own," Wiriadjaja said. "If that guy didn't have a gun, and had another weapon, I wouldn't have been shot."

Jakarta-born Wiriadjaja, who had promised to help friends move the day he was shot, was walking to the train about 1:30 p.m. when he heard shots ring out. He was hit once in the chest, between two ribs. The bullet luckily missed his heart, and instead went into his stomach.

"All I know is I heard fireworks, and then I smelled gunpowder," Wiriadjaja said. "I felt incredible pain in my shoulders and in my chest, and when I looked down, I saw that I was bleeding."

Witnesses saw Wiriadjaja clutch his stomach and stumble toward the Masonic Lodge next door, where he collapsed. A woman was struck twice in the leg, and was seen by witnesses hopping in front of 421 Nostrand Ave.

A spokeswoman from the NYPD said there have been no arrests, and there are no suspects in the shooting.

Wiriadjaja was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he said he was placed in a sedated coma for seven days. He was then downgraded to primary care for eight days, and finally left the hospital, having lost part of his pancreas and sustaining injuries to his diaphragm and stomach.

Now, when not seeing one of his many doctors, Wiriadjaja recuperates in a West Village apartment loaned to him by a professor and colleague at NYU, where he works, while also writing about his experience recovering from the shooting that almost took his life.

He's started posting a new photo of his scars daily and wants to continue until he's completely recovered.

"I’m so happy to be alive. And I’m so happy to have a body that heals," Wiriadjaja wrote in one such post. "But this is what happens when guns get into the hands of lunatics who can’t aim. Look at it. Deal with it."

Wiriadjaja said that in addition to starting a conversation about gun violence, his site has also been a source of inspiration for people who are going through their own recoveries.

"It seems to be inspiring people not to be hopeless," Wiriadjaja said. "People lose hope, [but] it doesn't have to be the end of the world."