Eric Mack, in the middle of a nightmare he never imagined, didn't even know that he had been shot.
Auburn offensive guard Eric Mack
When what had been a calm and laidback gathering at an Auburn complex turned violent on Saturday night, Mack saw two former Auburn players killed by gunshots and three others injured.
“I just wanted to make sure everybody was safe,” Mack told The Times and Democrat in Oraneburg, S.C,. late Sunday night. “I wasn’t even worried about myself. When I first found out I got shot, I didn’t even really realize it. I was still walking around checking on my teammates making sure they were all right.”
Mack, a sophomore offensive guard from Calhoun County High School in St. Matthews, S.C., was shot in the hip and spent the night at East Alabama Medical Center before being released
Former offensive lineman Ed Christian and former fullback Ladarious Phillips. Demario Phillips, an Auburn resident at the party was also killed.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It just seemed unreal. Even now, it still seems unreal. I couldn’t believe it.”
Even as the incident unfolded, Mack said his thoughts were of his young daughter, 4-year-old Kaliyah.
“My daughter was on my mind ever since last night when I heard the gunshots,” Mack said. “That’s the first thing I thought about. I thought, ‘If I don’t make it home, who’s going to take care of her?’ That’s what lifted my spirit. When I talked to her, that was really good for me.”
Mack said the incident had changed his outlook on life.
“I’m really relieved,” Mack said. “It was definitely an eye opener for me. I actually look at it as motivation. Now I can go out there and do something for myself and my family ... especially for my teammates’ families.
Because they’re not here to do it for them, I feel like that’s one of my responsibilities now.”