Oakland officials surprise paralyzed pilot

- Six days a week, seven hours a day, Quincey Carr lugs large furniture-store signs in his wheelchair to the corner of Hegenberger and Edgewater near the Oakland airport. He tries to get the attention of passing motorists.

It's all to pursue his passion:  being a pilot.

"Even though I enjoy being here, I'd rather be in the sky flying," Carr says.

Carr earned his private pilot's license in 2002. But four years later,  he was paralyzed in a shooting at an East Oakland barber shop.

He  had to re-learn how to drive -- and fly -- with hand controls..

He even earned his commercial pilot's license. But he wasn't finished. A few days ago, he told KTVU he wants to go to school to become a flight instructor.

On Monday, Oakland police and firefighters and Mayor Libby Schaaf surprised him with a $10,000 check - so he can share his love for flying with others.

His reaction? 

"Whoa! Whoa! Oh my god!"

There was a special guest - Capt. Sully Sullenberger, who made that heroic landing in the Hudson River in New York. Sullenberger first met Carr a few years ago.

"What really sustains my inspiration about his story is his perseverance," said Sullenberger. "The fact that he didn't let this dissuade him from working hard to fulfill his promise."

Carr said, "I'm shocked and i feel like if all these people believed in me and i believe in me, then this thing can happen."

He added, "It's very easy to complain and say 'why me, why me,' but when you have that attitude of 'it's not what happens to you, its how you actually handle it.'

 Oakland police Sgt. Clay Burch sad he was moved to help Carr, who has always stayed positive despite being shot five times. Burch described Carr as a innocent victim of gun violence.

"Someone had said some unbecoming things about his girlfriend," Burch said. "He asked the guy not to say those things, the guy left, came back and retrieved a firearm and started shooting while he was in the barber chair."

Burch and Carr developed a friendship, and the sergeant said he knew he needed to help this hardworking man.

"Now, here we are, Burch. Thanks man," said Carr as the two embraced.

It all seemed to hit Carr as he posed for pictures with the mayor, acting Assistant Police Chief David Downing, fire officials and Sullenberger.

"This is so cool, you guys!" he whooped. "I'm so excited!"

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