California man dies after being shot eight times while trying to stop robbery at elderly neighbor's house
41-year-old Patrick Smith spent eight days in the hospital after the November 14 incident but would eventually succumb to his wounds on Thanksgiving
A concerned California man who went to check on a next-door neighbor and was subsequently shot eight times by a robber running from the police passed away, his wife has confirmed. 41-year-old Patrick Smith spent eight days in the hospital after the November 14 incident but would eventually succumb to his wounds on Thanksgiving.
According to CNN, the incident unfolded in San Bernardino County in the city of Barstow, located 120 miles (190 km) southwest of Los Angeles. The Bairstow Police Department had received a call reporting a robbery inside one of the homes in Smith's neighborhood in the 800 Block of Keith Street and was told by the caller that flashlights could be seen inside.
Patrick's wife, Elizabeth, said that, around the same time, another neighbor called their house to tell them she had heard noises outside. Officers who arrived at the scene chased two teenage boys believed to be the culprits to the back of the home that was being robbed but lost track of them.
As they were still searching, they heard multiple gunshots from the side of the home and rushed to the scene to find the 41-year-old had been shot multiple times.
Smith, who had been shot eight times, had gone to check on the well-being of the elderly woman who had called his home for help, KTLA reported. He was flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for treatment, with officers still at the scene uncovering a loaded handgun that was confirmed to be the murder weapon.
The authorities arrested four teenage boys, aged between 15 and 17, at the scene, though the suspected shooter, 18-year-old Leslie Hawkins, still remains at large. Detectives launched a hunt for Hawkins but San Bernardino booking records indicate he is still at large.
Elizabeth revealed that her husband, who worked as a facilities maintenance manager in Barstow, had also suffered "a broken thumb/wrist, fractured jaw, split tongue, missing teeth, two collapsed lungs" and that he was "almost completely devoid of blood."
He went through multiple surgeries and spent his eight days in the hospital alternating between the operating room, the intensive care unit, and the surgical ward before his injuries would get the better of him. He was rushed to the ICU after he began vomiting and could not be revived even after multiple rounds of CPR. His cause of death remains unknown.
A GoFundMe page that was set up in Patrick's name to raise donations that would go towards covering his medical expenses has already raised more than $40,000 despite setting a goal of $5,000.
Elizabeth paid tribute to her husband in the description, writing, "My husband was the greatest man in the world, had always put others before himself and would have done this all over again for any of our neighbors, friends, or family. He was the one you could always count on, he would have been there for you. I can't imagine my life without this man."
Patrick leaves behind not just his wife but also a five-year-old son.