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Hero doctor Peter Gold: Gunman told me 'point blank, I'm going to kill you'

Peter Gold, the Tulane medical student who was shot while saving a woman from an armed attacker, watched surveillance video of the chilling encounter for the first time on TODAY.
/ Source: TODAY

It's been nearly two years since Peter Gold was almost executed by a gunman after he intervened to save a woman who was being attacked, but the details of the chilling encounter remain vivid in his mind.

"I remember being right there and looking at this guy in the face as he held his gun to me and he told me at point blank, 'I'm going to kill you,''' Gold told Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview on TODAY Tuesday.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2015, Gold stopped his car to help a woman who was being attacked when he was shot in the stomach by gunman Euric Cain. Cain then tried to shoot Gold in the head, but his gun jammed.

Gold watched the harrowing surveillance video of the encounter for the first time on TODAY Tuesday.

"Being able to sit here with you and watch that video, it just makes me feel so lucky and so happy to be able to share this moment with you and be able to spend time with friends and family,'' Gold said.

Gold never saw Cain squeezing the trigger repeatedly.

Peter Gold
Peter Gold was a fourth-year medical student at Tulane University at the time of the shooting and has since graduated and gone on to pursue his doctorate. Courtesy of Peter Gold

"For me that's the most surreal part,'' he said. "You can kind of see my back was to him at that time, so if this video never came out, I don't think any of us would've known that happened. I'm just very lucky and fortunate to just be able to come out of that alive."

Heightening the scene was the fact that Gold was speaking on the phone with his parents when he stopped the car and confronted Cain, so they heard the whole thing.

"It was completely traumatic,'' Gold said.

Cain was arrested three days later. In October, he was sentenced to 54 years in prison for a crime spree that also included rapes and armed robberies.

RELATED: Suspect behind bars in shooting of med student that was caught on camera

Gold recovered from his injuries and went on to graduate from Tulane medical school and continue with residency in orthopedic surgery at a hospital in New York City.

He still thinks about the shooting every day.

Peter Gold
Gold later told the gunman in court that waking up in the hospital with his friends and family there was the happiest day of his life. Courtesy of Peter Gold

"It was completely instinctual what I did,'' he said. "I'm driving by and I see a man dragging a girl across the ground ... I hope if I'm faced with the same situation, I would act again to help out somebody in need."

During Cain's sentencing, Gold appeared in court to make a statement to his attacker.

"I want you to know and understand the effect your individual actions had not just on me, but on those around me,'' he said. "My family was a trainwreck. I will never forget the pain and trauma you caused them.

"I woke up two days later in the hospital surrounded by my family and a group of best friends. This moment will forever be the happiest moment in my life. You hadn't killed me. And with my family by my side, I knew I would bounce back stronger than ever. Strong enough to stand face to face with you again."

In the aftermath of the shooting, Gold launched a nonprofit called Strong City to provide education, mentoring and other programs to at-risk youth in New Orleans.

"One of the first things I started talking about with my friends and family when I woke up in the hospital, and I'm thinking about it again here while watching this video is what happened in somebody's life that they were able to create such violence with such ease, without even thinking about it?" Gold said.

"What happened in his community, what happened at school, what happened with his family?"

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.