Victim writes letter of forgiveness to man who shot him

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Luis Berrios was shot in the back outside his home in November during a robbery gone wrong.

Six months later, he is sharing a message of forgiveness in the form of a letter titled: "A message to you who shot me."

He letter starts like this:

"I have to tell you guys, you changed my whole life. You really put me in a place that keeps me stuck in deep thought."

Berrios was at Temple Hospital for 50 days after the shooting outside his home on the 4000 block of North 13th Street in North Philadelphia.

The bullet caused severe internal damage.

"It went through my back, it pierced my right lung. It hit my pancreas, my colon, it hit my intestines twice, my bladder and my kidney," said Berrios.

During the fight to survive, he felt depression creep in.

As for his choice to forgive the shooter he said, "It's healing. It is so healing because I was losing myself at one point in time. My room felt like it was closing in on me."

Five months after the shooting, Berrios decided to distribute the open letter to neighbors. Some wanted nothing to do with it, while others responded in positive ways.

Online, the letter has received thousands of views.

He had this closing message to the shooter and his accomplice: "I hope you can forgive yourself like I forgave you. And make peace with God, so he can have mercy on you. I hope you never cause hurt to another person like you've done me."

Berrios hopes his message inspires others to do the same: Let go, avoid retaliation and avoid hate.

Police are still searching for the men who shot Berrios. Detectives are asking anyone with information to report it.
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