DEERFIELD BEACH -- A U.S. Marine Corps officer who survived tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan without a scratch is recovering after being shot in Florida while trying to sell a gold necklace that his fiancée had advertised on Craigslist.
Two men have been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Lt. Col. Karl Trenker, 48. A Marine Corps spokesman said Thursday that Trenker is in stable condition and recovering well from the Dec. 21 shooting.
“I can’t believe this,” Trenker told WSVN-TV. “I go to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times, and I haven’t been shot or blown up, and I’m here at home in Florida, and here I am riding in an ambulance with a bunch of gunshot wounds.”
Trenker added that he used his fingers to plug the bullet holes and stop the bleeding. Authorities say he was hit three times.
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According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office report, Trenker and his four of his children drove from Miramar to Deerfield Beach to meet a man purportedly named “Galven” at an apartment complex.
The man had responded to the Craigslist ad placed by Trenker’s fiancee.
Two men later identified as James Flounory and Jeff Steele, both 20, approached Trenker’s truck, robbed him of the necklace at gunpoint and ran off, according to authorities. Trenker gave chase on foot until Steele turned and fired several shots from a .22-caliber handgun, hitting Trenker in the torso, the police report said.
Two 911 calls were released Thursday, with one unidentified man telling a dispatcher, “I don’t know what’s going on, man, but I know there were gunshots.”
A second caller is recorded talking briefly with Trenker, at one point asking his age as directed by the dispatcher and then remarking, “He’s in great shape.” Later, the caller ads: “He’s got two bullets in him.”
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Flournoy and Steele a short time later, partly on the strength of a statement given by Trenker’s 12-year-old son.
Both are charged with attempted murder and robbery with a firearm, and both are jailed without bail. Court records did not list an attorney for either man.
A third man was arrested after police said he attempted to hide the weapon in his pants after the shooting.