ATHENS, Georgia – A former University of Georgia lacrosse player whose life was nearly ended in an armed robbery in 2019 speaks for the first time after jurors convicted his attacker.
Michael Seiden of Channel 2 spoke exclusively with the young man and his father about his survival and his determination to help others now.
Tate Prezzano was waiting at a bus stop near the UGA campus when he was shot three times in the head and neck. One of the bullets stopping just a millimeter from his spine.
“It was just amazing. A few millimeters away it could have been completely different, ”Tate told Seiden.
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An Athens-Clarke County jury has returned its guilty verdict against Zarren Garner, the man who attacked Tate, last month. Garner was convicted of several counts, including attempted murder and armed robbery.
“The trial was brutal. See and hear things we haven’t heard before and get the body camera perspective, ”Tate’s father Dobbin said.
“At the end of the day, the big word was responsibility. That’s what we got out of it, ”Tate said.
The road to justice has not been easy for Tate’s mind or body.
“I still have a little pain in my left arm, pretty bad nerve damage there,” he said.
Garner fired three shots at the 24-year-old, injuring his neck and shoulder. A third bullet lodged just a millimeter from Tate’s spine.
“It’s one of the bullet scars here. I have one in my shoulder and one in the back of my head, ”Tate told Seiden.
Tate refuses to let this traumatic event define the rest of his life.
“[I] didn’t let him take anything from me that day, and I’m not going to let him take anything from me anytime soon, ”he said.
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Since filming, the Tate Tough Foundation has focused on her recovery. It also awards scholarships to college lacrosse players and promotes campus safety. They have even established partnerships with different companies that provide security measures on college campuses.