A California husband and father died on Thanksgiving night after being shot eight times, while checking on an elderly neighbor's property after she called him and said she heard noises.
Patrick Smith, 41, had gone over to his elderly neighbor's house on the night of Nov. 14 and encountered a group of teens in the yard who had allegedly been burglarizing a home in the area, Barstow Police said in a statement.
Police officers were already scouring the neighborhood looking for the teens when they heard gunshots and found Smith lying on the ground. He was immediately taken to the hospital.
"He 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,” his wife Elizabeth Smith told KTLA.
Smith's family had initially been hopeful he'd recover from his wounds, but his health took a sudden turn when he started vomiting on Thanksgiving, later dying that night.
"It was an absolute shock what happened that afternoon, no one saw it coming," Elizabeth Smith told CNN.
She described her husband to KTLA as the "greatest man in the world" who always "put others before himself."
Barstow Police arrested four teens, ranging in age from 15 to 17, on the night of the shooting. However, one teen, Leslie Hawkins, 18, is still at large.
Police identified Hawkins as the shooting suspect after viewing surveillance footage that captured part of the incident.
"The video shows Hawkins fleeing from the scene on foot after the shooting. Detectives searched the scene for Hawkins but were unable to locate him," police said.
Police released a photo of Hawkins, who is described as a black male, and are asking anyone with information about the case to contact police.
Police were initially called to the scene around 6:50 p.m. on the night of Nov. 14 after someone called to report that someone had broken into a home in the neighborhood. The caller could see people inside a home with flashlights, police said.
Police arrived at the home and saw two suspects fleeing. They lost sight of the suspects and were searching for them in the neighborhood, when the gunshots rang out.
Police said Smith encountered the suspect's on the side yard of his neighbor's house and was shot.
His wife said told CNN she was grateful she had been given one extra week to spend time with him in the hospital before he died.
The two were able to have a Steelers game watch party at the hospital with family and Elizabeth Smith and her husband spent the night before Thanksgiving watching the finale of "American Horror Story" together.
"To be given a week to stay with him is priceless," she said.
(Photo Credits: Elizabeth Smith/Facebook, Barstow Police Department)
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