Port City United director talks for the first time about the night he was shot in the head

Cedric Harrison was shot in the head in February
Port City United director talks for the first time about the night he was shot in the head
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s been five months since Cedric Harrison was shot in the face leaving a celebration of life. The director of Port City United, who was not in that position at the time he was shot, was one of four people hit by bullets outside a home on 31st Street in February.

Harrison recalls the moment he was hit.

“I kind of dropped down to my knees and I said ‘I’m hit,’” Harrison said.

The bullet went through Harrison’s ear on the right side of his face and came out next to his nose on the left side. He says first responders and police got there quickly but at that point, he wasn’t sure he would live.

“I was very afraid that I was going to die,” he said. “My friend had just got shot in the same area -- not physically, but geographically. He had got shot in the same area and he had died on the way to the hospital.”

Harrison’s friend was Devin Williams. The 32-year-old was shot several days before in the 200 block of N. 31st Street near his grandmother’s house. It was outside that house where Harrison and three other people, including a child, were hit after a shooter or shooters opened fire into the crowd.

No one has been arrested for that mass shooting, but Harrison says he doesn’t think about that much.

“I never even mentally went down that lane,” Harrison said. “Once I knew it wasn’t intended for me, I was just so happy to still be alive. "

Cedric Harrison had to undergo extensive treatment including doctors putting in steel plates in...
Cedric Harrison had to undergo extensive treatment including doctors putting in steel plates in his head(Cedric Harrison)

Harrison, the founder of Support the Port, CEO of Wilmington N Color and now director of Port City United, went through intensive treatment. Doctors put in steel plates in two places in his head. He was in recovery for two months -- unable to eat solid food.

“I lost 40 pounds that I instantly gained back,” he said with a hardy laugh.

He’s able to laugh now, but admits his road to recovery is far from over.

“Oh absolutely. I’ll probably be in recovery mentally for years, you know.”

In March, a little over a month after the shooting, Harrison was named the director of Port City United. Because he was still in recovery, he was not able to officially start the job for several weeks.

Port City United is a New Hanover County department created to help reduce violence. Harrison was considered for the job before the shooting because of his experience as CEO of Support the Port and the sponsor of several “Stop the Violence” rallies.

He believes he was destined for the position and says the shooting only inspired him to work that much harder to accomplish the department’s mission.

“When you have that moment of real realization that like this could all end today, every day you wake up after that -- it’s just an extra boost of energy to be appreciative and to put all into the work.”

He gives a lot of thanks to the first responders, police and the doctors and nurses for saving his life that February night. But above all, he gives thanks for God.

“I definitely know how blessed I am,” Harrison said. “I know God is real. God is amazing. I wake up every morning and thank him. I’m grateful to still be here.”

Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.