Patrick Smith was a 41-year-old janitor and father of a young son. On November 14, he was simply enjoying the evening with his family when he got the news that his elderly neighbor had experienced a burglary. The police were already at the scene when he went out to the backyard with his wife to make sure the woman was okay. The suspects had already fled the scene and it was believed that the home was empty. Smith’s elderly neighbor requested that he do a walk through of her home to make sure it was safe because she was too afraid to enter herself. Trying to settle her nerves, Smith obliged and approached the house to check it. He only made it as far as the backyard when he was shot eight times by a burglar still at the scene.
According to People, Smith was admitted to the hospital and underwent two surgeries to save his life, during which his appendix and a portion of his intestines had to be removed.
Unfortunately, his injuries cost him his life. On a GoFundMe page that his wife Elizabeth started to pay for his medical expenses, she said that her husband was admitted to the hospital “with 8 gunshot wounds, a broken thumb/wrist, fractured jaw, split tongue, missing teeth, two collapsed lungs, and almost completely devoid of blood.”
Now she hopes that her husband will be remembered as a hero, someone who would do anything to help a person in need. Prior to his death, she wrote on the GoFundMe page that he was “the one you can always count on.” It didn’t matter whether you were a friend or stranger, Smith was someone who would offer a helping hand to anyone.
The Barstow California Police Department arrested four teenagers who were present at the burglary and recovered the items stolen from the elderly woman’s home. The suspects are all in their teens, ranging from 15- to 17-years-old. However, the oldest suspect, 18-year-old Leslie Hawkins, is still at large. Hawkins is believed to be the shooter who shot Smith.
“The video shows Hawkins fleeing from the scene on foot after the shooting,” the police department said in a press release. “Detectives searched the scene for Hawkins but were unable to locate him.” The teen is wanted for attempted murder. Anyone who has any information about the crime is encouraged to notify authorities and may remain anonymous if they prefer.