Repo Man Shooting Goes Deeper Than One Incident - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/28/04 - Longview

Repo Man Shooting Goes Deeper Than One Incident

An East Texas man was shot at Tuesday while working, and today he's back on the job. But this story goes much deeper than an isolated incident. The man's family has already dealt with the loss of one member, while doing the same job. You might think we're talking about a policeman or a fireman. But Wesley Pierce is a Repo Man. He is the owner of East Texas Auto Recovery, and shotgun pellet marks in his truck tell the story of a routine job that turned violent

"As soon as I open the door and get out, I seen he had a gun," said Pierce. "I jumped back in the truck, and that's when the glass was blown out and shattered and he just continued to shoot over and over again."

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt... This time. But his company, and his family haven't always been so lucky. Wesley's brother, Kevin, was shot and killed in 1999 on a similar repossession assignment. Their sister, Lisa, who also works for the company, struggles daily with the thought of losing the only brother she has left.

"Everyday you get the paperwork together and you hand it to them, and you just don't know if they're going to make it home that night," said Bennett.

So why do it? For Wesley, it's all he knows, and it puts food on the table for his family. But more importantly, it's a job extremely vital to the success of the auto industry. Jonathon Ketchum, of Excel Finance Company, says nearly one in five of their customers don't pay their bills.

"Lot's of times we may have a balance of $10,000, and if we don't have our collateral, then that's $10,000 that our company is going to lose," said Ketchum. "So it's definitely valuable that we do get our vehicles so we can minimize our losses."

"We're not the bad guys," added Pierce. "We're going out there. We're doing a job just like everybody else does."

An employee of Loop 281 Autoplex in Longview was in the truck with Pierce yesterday at the time of the shooting. He was actually hit with some of the bird shot pellets, but was treated at Good Shepherd Hospital and released.

Kevin Berns reporting kberns@kltv.com

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