By Ronald Vitarelli

On November 14, 2018, tragedy struck when a man was shot eight times. Patrick Smith was a 41-year old man living in Barstow, California. Smith spent eight days in the hospital attempting to recover from his injuries but sadly passed away on Thanksgiving Day.  

On Wednesday, November 14, the Barstow police received a phone call about a burglary in a neighborhood. The caller told the 911 operators that their neighbor’s home was currently being broken into and that they could see flashlights inside the home. When the Barstow Police Department arrived at the scene, they saw two teenage boys. They chased them to the backyard of the home and ended up losing sight of them. As they were trying to regain sight of them, they heard multiple gunshots at a different home nearby. The police followed the firearm noises and eventually found Smith suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Smith was flown to the nearby hospital. Four teenage boys were arrested at the scene. They were aged from fifteen-years-old to seventeen-years-old.  The gunman is being tried for attempted murder.  

Smith was just trying to help his neighbors out and stop the burglars. When he ventured to the backyard to go check his neighbor’s home, the teenagers confronted Patrick and shot him. A GoFundMe page was set up to get Patrick back up on his feet after this attempted murder. The page raised over $42,000. His wife, Elizabeth Smith, told news channel KTLA that he was suffering from “eight gunshot wounds, a broken thumb/wrist, fractured jaw, split tongue, missing teeth, two collapsed lungs, and almost completely devoid of blood.” Elizabeth told CNN that she feared she would not ever get a chance to say goodbye to her husband Patrick Smith underwent multiple surgeries and was able to stay alive, until Thanksgiving day.  

On November 22, Patrick and Elizabeth were watching their favorite show, American Horror Story, together. Elizabeth recalls that they “were nerds together”. Suddenly, Patrick’s condition started to worsen. He began vomiting. He was rushed to the intensive care unit for rounds of CPR, which he sadly did not survive. His cause of death is still unknown.  

One of Patrick’s “greatest things” that happened in the hospital was watching the Steelers-Jaguars game on Sunday, November 18. Elizabeth knew how much this would mean to Patrick. Elizabeth downloaded the game on her laptop and invited all of their family to come over to watch it with them. Patrick told Elizabeth that he was “really looking forward to watching the Steelers-Broncos game on Sunday”.  

Patrick worked as a facilities maintenance manager in his town. Elizabeth said that her husband “was the type of guy to always lend a helping hand”. The couple was together for ten years and married for seven. Elizabeth and Patrick’s mother-in-law, Dibble, described him as a “gentle giant”. Dibble also said that the family “relied on Patrick to be our savior, he was the person who protected us”. Patrick leaves behind his wife and his five-year-old son, Dillinger. Elizabeth said that her son knows that his father is in “heaven and is an angel now”.