Two rounds hit his left thigh, while the third bullet struck the base of his skull and partially paralyzed him. He had been mistaken for a gang member.
Acevedo was working as a security guard at K-Mart and Jon’s Supermarket while enrolled at Cal State Northridge, hoping to become a police officer.
An off-duty police officer spotted Acevedo’s bullet-ridden car and got him help.
Acevedo remained in a coma for several months before beginning his slow path to recovery. He still has a bullet in his skull.
Because of the bullet, Acevedo said he must be careful not to fall — a very real danger given the difficult access around his home.
While he has completed physical therapy to strengthen his legs, they are still weak, he said. His parents help him navigate the 22 steps that lead to his home.
“I give every thanks to my parents because they are still able to help me go up and down,” Acevedo said.
Acevedo’s home not only needs an outside ramp, but improvement to the bathroom, which is too cramped to allow wheelchair access.
For many years, Acevedo dragged himself to the bathroom, which he thought was an easy fix.
“Eventually, and in the long run, I was hurting myself,” Acevedo said.
He developed a hernia, which required surgery.
On Thursday, with his colleagues raising the cash to help remodel his home, the possibility of greater access seemed closer in reach.
“I feel like I am in a dream,” he said. “It’s like a dream come true.”
A bathroom remodel was estimated to cost $1,800, said Angela Hilliard, a Glendale police forensic specialist.
Glendale resident Susan Jekarl said she got involved in the remodeling effort after she heard Acevedo had requested upgrades to his home as a Christmas wish.
Jekarl and Hilliard were serving drinks at Thursday’s event to raise funds for Acevedo.
Ten percent of meal purchases and tips earned Thursday night were to be donated to Acevedo’s remodeling fund.
“These improvements will help make Jorge’s life a lot more livable and dignified,” said Glendale Police Capt. Lief Nicolaisen.
Get in touch VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@ latimes.com.