Joshua Dial, who once managed the gubernatorial campaign for Netflix’s Tiger King’s Joseph Maldonado-Passage, says he still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the 2017 accidental shooting death of Travis Maldonado, who was once married to the self-styled “Joe Exotic.”
“I definitely have PTSD,” Dial tells PEOPLE. “There was no preparation for what I saw in that office. It was so shocking. I have nightmares about it.”
According to Dial, Maldonado woke him up like he did most mornings: by pointing a gun at him.
“What Travis would do in the mornings is he would kick down the door, point a gun at you,” he says. “That very day he did that to me. He broke in my room, pointed that new gun that he said would not fire without a clip at me, and asked me to wake up. I’m lucky to even be alive.”
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But Dial says there was no way for anyone to save Maldonado.
“The second he pulled the trigger, I knew he was dead,” he says. “You don’t come back from something like that.”
So far, a GofundMe page launched to help Dial pay for the counseling he says he needs but can’t afford has raised more than $4,000.
“I’ve just been grateful for the support of people that are trying to get me help for counseling,” he says.
“I don’t want to have to ask for help, but I know that everything I went through, especially working over a-year-and-a-half looking at that bullet hole thousands of times, I need help. It’s been a hard realization for me to come to. To watch someone take their own life is a violation against nature. It’s not something that the human brain is meant to deal with.”
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is streaming now on Netflix.
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