A Barstow man is dead on Thanksgiving Day after being shot 8 times while checking on a neighbor.
On November 14th police received a call from a resident who said they could see their neighbors’ home being broken into. The caller said flashlights could be seen inside the home.
While officers responded, another neighbor called the home of Elizabeth Smith, and asked if Elizabeth’s husband could investigate the noises coming from outside her home.
Elizabeth’s husband, 41-year-old Patrick, a member of an obviously close nit community, went to assist his elderly neighbor with her concerns.
Meanwhile, police officers had arrived at the home of the reported burglary and confronted 2 teenage boys, who ran to the rear of the house where officers lost sight of them.
During the search by police, multiple gun shots were heard nearby.
Police approached the area where they discovered Smith with several gun shot wounds, and a loaded handgun nearby, which matched the caliber of casings found by evidence technicians.
4 teenage boys between the ages of 15-17 were arrested at the scene, but police say the shooter 18-year-old Leslie Hawkins is still at large.
Patrick was rushed to the hospital with massive injuries.
Elisabeth told KTLA:
“He (Patrick) went in with eight gunshot wounds, a broken thumb/wrist, fractured jaw, split tongue, missing teeth, two collapsed lungs, and almost completely devoid of blood.”
Patrick underwent multiple surgeries and struggled to keep going for 8 days.
According to his wife,
“He was in really good spirits.”
Patrick, a dedicated Steelers fan, was able to spend some time with his wife, 5-year-old son, and other family members to watch his favorite team play in his hospital room.
“He told me days later that it was one of the greatest things.”
But on Thanksgiving Day, Patrick’s injuries proved to be too much. He was rushed to Intensive Care after he had begun vomiting. He later died after multiple rounds of CPR.
“It was an absolute shock what happened that afternoon, no one saw it coming.” Elizabeth said.
Her mother, Deanna Dibble, was grateful for the extra time they were given to spend with Patrick,
“We were given one more week with him to say goodbye.”
Elizabeth agreed with her, “To be given a week to stay with him is priceless.” she said.
It’s impossible to say this tragedy might have played out differently if Patrick had been armed when he bravely went to assist his neighbor. But, having a firearm you are well trained to use with a good flashlight can increase your odds of survival in a situation like this one.
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