Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The 77-year-old Christian Brothers Academy baseball coach shot in the eye during the robbery of his North Side liquor store last week was back at work on Tuesday.
Thomas Dotterer was shot Wednesday night during the robbery of Salina Liquors and Wine.
For a time he was hospitalized in critical condition. He underwent surgery on his eye at the hospital and will travel to Philadelphia next Tuesday to see a specialist.
Thomas’s son Henry was at his side in the hospital. "There were moments where he was in and out, and at one of the moments I asked him, did he want to hear about the people who were stopping by or calling and he nodded his head yes,” Henry said.
His family said one of the first things he wanted to do after getting out of the hospital Monday was go back to the store.
Sitting in his liquor store Tuesday afternoon, Dotterer said, “Every day is great. Every day is great because every day I have an opportunity to meet new individuals and broaden my appreciation of what God has given us all to enjoy.”
Thomas says he used to be a "gloomy pessimist," an outlook on life that's changed over time and helped in his recovery.
"All things happen for a reason that preclude, maybe, present understanding, but you deal with the cards that you have dealt,” he said.
Yet, after all this, he joked that wrestling was what really ruined his week. "That's the worst thing that happened to me all week, the Rock beat Punk. Did you know that?"