Marine Lt. Col. Karl Trenker has a message for the criminal who shot him.
“If he didn’t have a pistol I would’ve whipped his butt,” the Miramar resident said.
Trenker’s fiancé advertised a gold necklace on Craigslist, hoping to drum up a little more cash for some Christmas presents.
When Trenker went to the arranged meeting place outside an apartment complex in Deerfield Beach, the would-be buyers snatched the chain and took off running. Trenker gave chase.
“I did not perceive any danger, and being a Marine and all I’m not one to back down from a fight, so I was going to get my necklace back,” said the father of five.
Deputies say Jeff Steele and James Flounory, both 20, are the suspects.
While Trenker was chasing them Wednesday, Steele allegedly turned and fired several shots. At least three hit the Marine. He used his fingers to plug his wounds, then ran back to his pickup truck to assure his four kids he would be OK.
“I can’t believe it, I go to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times and I haven’t been shot or blown up,” Trenker said Friday. “I’m here at home in Florida, and here I am riding away in an ambulance with a bunch of gunshot wounds.”
Both suspects are charged with attempted murder and armed robbery and are being held on no bond. No attorneys are listed as representing them yet in their court cases.
For Trenker’s fiancée, Tanya Saiz, this Christmas will have a special meaning.
“Right now I’m just thanking God he’s alive, and that’s the best Christmas present I could ever wish for,” she said.