Family, friends of road rage victim impressed by his progress

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 22 at 11:42 PM

FARMERSVILLE - Nearly 200 people from Justin Brazil's hometown of Farmersville gathered near downtown to pray for him.

He's fighting for his life after a road rage incident on Highway 380 in Princeton ended with shots fired. A bullet hit Brazil in the head.

But, every day, he surprises his family and fiancée with his recovery.

He spoke for the first time on Wednesday.

"It was miraculous," said Brazil's fiancée Danielle Harris. "The first words he spoke, he said 'I love you.' It was awesome - it brought tears to my eyes."

His best friend, Joe Cumpian, is also speaking out for the first time.

"I was there by his side when it happened," Cumpian said. "I stayed there and I'm going to be there, continue to do that until he gets better."

Cumpian didn't want to discuss the details leading up to the shooting. But, he told News 8 he called 911 when he heard the gunfire.

"It was bad. I jumped out of the car to make sure I wasn't hit," Cumpian said. "I took my shirt off, to check myself to see if I was hit, and I was screaming at him to get up and make sure he wasn't hit. And after 30 seconds, I realized he wasn't moving."

That's when Cumpian says, he helped Brazil. He tried to comfort him as paramedics raced to the scene.

He visited Brazil on Thursday. He's hoping his friend makes a full recovery and comes home soon to his family.

"As soon as I walked into the room, he woke," Cumpian said. "He knew who I was. He told me he loved me, you know, and I told him I loved him back.

"For him to make the progress that he's making, it just makes me so happy," he continued.

Princeton police are still investigating the incident.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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