Brevard County man shot, paralyzed in Haiti warns others following recent kidnappings

Despite being paralyzed and unable to walk, he said he forgives the unidentified shooter

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Brevard County man continues to undergo rehabilitation treatment in Georgia, following a shooting in Haiti.

Mike Sonnenschein was shot on May 26, 2021, in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. He said he was shot while driving his wife and friend home and a motorcycle in front of them stopped in the roadway.

“We thought he was letting off a passenger, and as the passenger got off the back, he had a mask and a pistol,” Sonnenschein said. “Because of all the kidnappings we have heard that have been going on in Haiti the past year, we didn’t know if he was going to rob us, but we didn’t want to take all the chance on being kidnapped.”

Moments after hitting the gas pedal to flee the gunman, Sonnenschein said he was shot and was instantly paralyzed.

“I told my wife you are going to have to drive. I believe the motorcycle and shooter jumped on the bike and took off. You know anytime a gun goes off, it gets attention,” Sonnenschein said.

Sonnenschein and his wife moved to Haiti about five years ago from Melbourne. The couple left with the goal to help the humanitarian efforts in the country.

Less than 24 hours after the shooting, Sonnenschein was airlifted back to the United States.

Following the kidnapping of 16 Americans and a Canadian, Sonnenschein warns others who want to help the country, it might be safer helping from afar.

It’s becoming more dangerous, so I would say they need to maybe not travel over there,” Sonnenschein said.

Despite being paralyzed and unable to walk, he said he forgives the unidentified shooter.

The family plans to move back to Florida soon, once his treatment allows.


About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.