Griffin’s Propane manager Cody Newman remains positive after gas station shooting

June 13, 2019 By    

Cody Newman is thankful to be alive.

Cody Newman image courtesy of Cody Newman

Cody Newman of Griffin’s Propane in Payson, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Cody Newman)

The branch manager at Griffin’s Propane in Payson, Arizona, was en route to check on a customer’s dispenser when he pulled his white Suburban into a Payson gas station. He never expected the ensuing events of May 7 to change his life.

In a matter of minutes, he was on the ground, bleeding, having suffered three gunshot wounds to his left side – the bullets piercing his buttocks, scapula and grazing his shoulder, hitting and exploding his safety sunglasses and scratching his cornea.

Newman recalls several of his customers on the scene, but one in particular, a retired paramedic, immediately tended to his wounds and reassured him that everything was going to be OK as they waited for medical help to arrive.

“I’ve helped him out,” Newman says of the good Samaritan. “That’s what he said to me,” and now the man was returning the favor on a completely different level.

Gas station incident
Newman had been talking by phone to his wife, Christina, as he stopped for gas. But the 50-year-old Arizona native says he couldn’t pull his vehicle fully into the station and off the road because another vehicle was stopped awkwardly ahead of him. Newman asked the driver to move forward and says he was sworn at and told to go around the vehicle.

When Newman maneuvered his vehicle to another part of the station, the situation apparently escalated. Newman recalls the driver staring at him before trying to hit him with his car and then wielding a gun.

Newman says he was shot at seven times. The three bullets that hit him damaged the left side of his body. He was immediately hospitalized and underwent surgery.

He initially had no feeling from his left shoulder to his fingertips, so he couldn’t move his fingers. The same held true for the lower part of his body; he had little feeling from his left hip down to his toes.

In late May, Newman had yet to return home and was undergoing rehab for his injuries. Some of the feeling he lost along his left side was beginning to return, but he’s had to relearn how to use his left hand and how to walk.

Despite everything Newman has faced since May 7, he holds no grudges against the shooter, who was apprehended by police and indicted by a grand jury.

“Don’t anybody hate this guy. I forgive him, and there’s no reason to be spreading more hate,” Newman says. “He broke the law. That’s why we live in a society with laws.”

Newman chooses instead to place his focus on his family – his wife, his three young children at home, three grown children and seven grandchildren.

“Yeah, I have some things that are medically challenging, but I get to see all my kids and put my arms around them. I’m grateful my beautiful wife hasn’t left my side. I can’t say enough with how blessed I am,” he says.

Newman’s been awestruck with the support he’s also received from friends, colleagues and even propane industry competitors. In fact, a friend of Newman’s started a GoFundMe page ( to help him and his family with their medical expenses.

The Arizona Propane Gas Association (APGA), for which Newman serves as secretary and treasurer, shared his story and details of the fundraising initiative during May’s Western Propane Trade Show & Convention in Reno, Nevada. The APGA says a donation to the account would be most helpful to its member in lieu of flowers and cards.

“[About] 10 different companies of the guys I work with on the board have contributed,” Newman says. “I’m very thankful for these men. Even though I’m one of their competitors, they’re willing to say, ‘Hey, you’re still one of ours, and we’re going to make a difference in his life.’”

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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