[The following letter appeared earlier today on Sean Leydon’s Facebook page and has quickly racked up a bunch of shares. The Outpost reached out. Leydon told us that he has filed a police report with APD and he was gracious enough to allow us to repost his letter below.] 

Open letter to the cowards who shot me in the eye with a paintball gun in Arcata on July 27th at 1:25am.

Allow me to illuminate how my night went after you made your mistake. First I screamed my tits off to make sure you knew something had gone terribly wrong. Then my traumatized girlfriend walked me home to our car. When we got to the hospital, I puked my guts out in the parking lot. The puke was from the nausea of a serious eye wound, and it’s a running theme. They threw dye in my eye and did all these tests. I made all the hospital puns. Then the shock wore off, and I doubled over. This is where the puke returns, but I was out of food to puke. So I threw up stomach acid. All night.

I have to imagine that there’s something in your life that causes you great pain for you to be interested in attacking strangers. Maybe you lack self control or maybe your job sucks or maybe you were just bored. However you rationalize it your actions were very wrong hearted.

Your attempt to exert your will on my life has failed. All you have succeeded in doing is making all the wonderful people in my life sick with disgust.

You can learn from this if you try. You can learn how to build up those around you. You can learn to be more focused on the moment, how to express yourself in healthy ways. I have to think that if you’d been more focused on your actions on July 27th, you wouldn’t have shot me.

Your thoughtless act could cost me dearly. I’m a photographer, and you may or may not have just given me lifelong cataracts/glaucoma. We just don’t know yet. The EYE DOC said my iris has a tear and the reason it’s hard for me to see is because there’s blood between the iris and the TOP BIT of the eye. The major risk is the iris getting another tear within the next 5 days. I’ve an appointment for next Monday and now you know everything I do about the damage you caused.

Humboldt friends, please spam this post everywhere you can think of. They were driving an all-black SUV, looked like an Explorer. The paint gun had a shiny barrel that looked silver, and they were shooting green paint. The shooter was in a moving vehicle and hit me twice in about a second. They’re clearly good at the game of paintball when they’re not busy being complete jackasses. Humboldt is VERY small, maybe we can figure out who these foolish fiends were.

I’m coming out of a very profound personal funk, one that took me all year to figure out. I’ve been in the ER twice in the last 4 months. This is a just another speed bump in a year of healing. Although you’ve messed up my work and potentially my career, you can’t stop me suckas!

PS you’ve also given me an excuse to wear sunglasses literally whenever I want for the rest of my life. That’s actually super sweet of you. I wore them in the shower today, it was awesome.

PSS If you’re some sweet family/friend and you’d like to show support PLEASE don’t call/text/email me. I’m figuring out this trauma and the added stress of having to reply to a flood of sympathy is NOT what I need (iPhone keyboards and a lack of depth perception is a lesson in autocorrect comedy). But if you really wanna make my day? Mail me any old sunglasses you don’t wear anymore. Preferably big ones, I’ve a big head. Probably made it a good target ;)

WITH MUCH LOVE (even for the fools),


[If this letter bummed you out and you would like to help Sean pay for future “medical bills and sandwiches, please see his “Shot in the Face” GoFundMe page here.]