MILWAUKEE — This is part of a four-part series on Milwaukee shooting survivors who have turned their lives around. See all the stories at TMJ4.com/EndViolenceMKE.
When Johnnie Anderson was shot for the second time in his 50s, he took stock of his life.
"Why is it I’m out here?" he questioned.
"I don’t deserve this, I deserve better," Anderson said. "I got involved with the church and helped change my life. Become saved where I don’t drink, I don’t use drugs, I don’t smoke, I don’t do anything but give thanks to God that I’m here and still breathing and sit up and talk about this because some didn’t make it."
Anderson said he took advantage of programs in jail to make himself better.
"I got my diploma and other degrees," he said. "Those tools made me a better person."
A big believer in the importance of education, Anderson believes it's the key to battling violence, which he's so familiar with.
"The unthinkable becomes the norms," said Anderson.
So he hopes parents and educators can set an example of a better future, without drugs, drinking or violence.
"I think if they see the good in life, I think they have a whole different perspective of life," Anderson said.
He wants to see young people turn their lives around before he did.
"Take advantage of your youth. Get educated. Go and learn things to survive the right way in life. Don’t destroy your life with these guns and hatred," he said.