The Times-Picayune tracked down Robert Hoobler, who recounts that fateful day.
That nearly fatal day, according to police records, 12-year-old Dwayne Carter Jr. left school early because it was report card day. He bought a hamburger, fries and soft drink from Burger King on his way home to 3409 Monroe St., Apartment D. He sat on the mattress in the master bedroom and began eating. But he stopped when he noticed a blue-steel Taurus 9 mm handgun.
The pistol had been left there the previous day, by a man who came over to watch a football game.
Little Dwayne picked up the gun and began horsing around with it in front of a stereo blaring music. At about 1:15 p.m., the boy accidentally fired a bullet through his chest. The slug then shot out the lower left corner of a window.
Somehow, it missed every vital organ. But the boy was dying.
Dwayne dialed 911, wheezing as he spoke. As blood poured out of the wound and formed a puddle near the stereo, the operator pressed for details. "You will find out when you get here, " the boy said, according to the police report.
He crawled toward the front door, smearing a trail of blood behind him. He lay on the floor face down, pressing his right cheek to the ground, and waited.
When no ambulance was available, Robert took the wounded child in his car to a local hospital; When they got to the hospital his clothing was soaked with Lil Wayne's blood. The two met years later at a diner; Lil Wayne bought him dinner and thanked Robert for saving his life.