Miami-Dade County

He was about to graduate. Then came the gunshots to his gut

Frank Hammar, shot Tuesday in a Wynwood robbery days before graduating Miami Ad School
Frank Hammar, shot Tuesday in a Wynwood robbery days before graduating Miami Ad School

Frank Hammar refused to give up his wallet to the Wynwood robbers demanding it. The 28-year-old Swede’s intransigence at gunpoint Tuesday came from practicality, not materialism.

"He was traveling to New York to show his portfolio," said Peter Hammar of his younger brother, set to graduate Miami Ad School on Friday. "He needed the credit card. Without the credit card, he couldn’t do the things he planned after graduation."

Frank, 28, is now in critical but stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, his brother said, after taking two gunshots to the torso. One bullet went through Frank’s stomach and out the back. Doctors left the bullet that lodged near Frank’s spine.

Peter said when he spoke to his brother Wednesday from Stockholm, Frank said he could move his toes.

"He’s extremely lucky," Peter said. "We’re happy he’s alive and doesn’t seem to be handicapped. So, we’re very blessed."

As Peter Hammar relayed his brother’s account of the nearly deadly encounter Tuesday night, Frank had just finished dinner at the Wynwood Diner, 2601 NW Second Ave. with vacationing parents Holger and Lisa Hammar. He was walking alone on Northwest 26th Street when the robbers put a pistol on him. He gave up his cellphone. Not giving up the wallet inspired one of the two to order, "Blast him."

Frank Hammar got shot while backing away with arms raised. The robbers left the wallet. Peter hypothesized they put departure ahead of the take because they knew the gunshot would bring people from around the corner.

Miami police said Thursday that the incident report was not yet available.

Peter, who also holds an FIU degree, lived in Miami eight years after graduating Miami Ad School and has friends who once had galleries in Wynwood.

"I never experienced anything bad. He was unlucky. At the wrong place at the wrong time," Peter Hammar said. "In Sweden, they can argue, fight and rob you. They don’t shoot you."

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal