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A Biloxi Uber driver who was shot in the head says he’s “protected and blessed.”

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – An Uber driver who was shot and killed on the job in Gulfport Friday night is recovering, but says he’ll never drive again.

On Tuesday, Linda Buford came out of her second surgery and took to Facebook to share her ordeal. He said he was blessed that the bullet entered the back of his head and exited his face.

“My nose, tongue, eyes and most of my mouth are already healing,” she wrote. “I have fractures in the cheekbones of my face, but they are healing! Now the waiting game. And I think that all future operations will be cosmetic! They don’t believe I can speak.’

Buford was shot Friday night after giving an Uber ride to Trinell Coates Jr., who said he rented the car in his brother’s name. Investigators say Coates pulled out a gun and shot Buford in the head at the corner of Tennessee Street and Chicago Avenue in Gulfport.

Despite his injuries, Buford walked more than two miles to get help, reaching the front door of the Rouses grocery store on Pass Road.

“Still in shock that something like this could happen,” Buford wrote Tuesday. “I would say it’s a reminder for us to be cautious, but I think it’s overdue. We need to make sure the police and first responders/firefighters and others are given all the tools they need and ALL our support, and we need to continue to fight to be very tough on crime. I can’t believe how bad it was. I should have been killed – shot point blank in the back of the head. I am very protected and blessed!”

He was arrested on suspicion of assault and charged with a felony. Coats is currently being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on $250,000 bond.

Before the shooting, Buford was well-known in coastal fitness circles for running a group fitness business, Cycology Fitness & Nutrition, in Ocean Springs. He also worked delivery jobs and side jobs driving for Uber and Lyft. But he says the days of ridesharing are over.

“I’m not going back to being an Uber or Lyft driver. The location of the market/territory is too risky. I’m too scared! Remember me when you see what I can do,” he wrote. “I can’t thank you enough for your prayers, especially for carrying my sweet mom. We would be lost without each other! I am truly overwhelmed and grateful for all the love and blessings!”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Buford with his medical bills and his long-term recovery. If you would like to donate, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/linda-buford-expenses.

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