It was the second day on a new job for handyman Juan Camarena, 53, who was helping the new superintendent of a Harlem building around 11 a.m. when an angry man confronted them. Tommie Davis, 50, had been fired about a month ago and was not happy about being replaced.
Davis stopped Camarena and his boss, Jose Cruz, 40, on a stairwell between the second and third floor of the building and said: "You better get the f--k out of here.”
He then took a handgun from his jacket pocked and fired a round.
Camarena had his Nextel 530 phone attached to his belt.
"He looked me in the eye and shot me," Camarena told the New York Daily News
. "The bullet went straight into my belt buckle. I had my cell phone right there.
"I checked and both my cell phone and belt buckle were in pieces, but the bullet did not go in.
"Thanks to my cell phone I'm alive. I can't explain it - it's about divinity."
Davis was supposed to move out of the building after he was fired weeks ago, but had not left. He fled after shooting at Camarena.
Others said Davis didn't want to be replaced - and even got upset when other people mopped the floors.
Eliya Washington, vice president of the building's board, told the New York Daily News
that Davis had told the new superintendent he had “better not clean the building.”
Camarena will be working at another building on Friday, and will be carrying his backup phone in the same place.