‘Don’t Worry Kids, I’ll Be Fine’: Marine Shot Three Times in Street Robbery Survives . . . By Plugging Bullet Holes with His Fingers

Paul Thompson and Mark Duell, Daily Mail (London), December 27, 2011

A U.S. Marine officer has told the incredible story of how he survived a street robbery by plugging bullet holes in his body with his fingers.

Lieutenant Colonel Karl Trenker, 29, of Miramar, Florida, was shot three times as he confronted two men who had stolen a gold chain from him.

He said he used his battlefield training from Afghanistan and Iraq to stem blood from chest wounds by shoving his finger into the gaping wound.

‘I knew I was shot,’ he said. ‘I just didn’t know I was shot that many times.’

‘I put my fingers in the holes to stop the bleeding and ran back to the truck and told my kids I had been shot, but not to worry.’

Lt Colonel Trenker added: ‘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.

‘Here I am riding in an ambulance with a bunch of gunshot wounds.’

Lt Colonel Trenker is in a serious but stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery following the shooting in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

He said the confrontation with the robbers took place after his girlfriend Tanta Siaz advertised a gold chain for sale on Craigslist.

The U.S. Marine said he volunteered to carry out the sale and drove to an apartment complex to meet the potential buyers.

As he showed off the necklace one of the men shoved him and grabbed the jewellery.

Lt Colonel Trenker said he chased after the two men when one of them turned round and opened fire, hitting him multiple times.

He said he plugged the bullet holes while calling his girlfriend on his cell phone and calmly telling her: ‘I’ve been shot.’

Lt Colonel Trenker said: ‘I dialled my phone and called my fiancĂ©e and said, ‘Listen I’ve been shot I think three times.

Ms Saiz said she couldn’t believe he had been shot and that he called her.

I mean, it’s amazing to me how this guy had been shot this many times. I mean, he’s Superman, you know,’ she told WSVN News.

‘He’s talking to me just as calmly as I’m sitting here talking.

‘He told me: “I’ve been shot three times, my fingers are in the bullet holes, the police are going to take care of the kids”.’

Officers responding to the shooting found 20-year-olds James Flournoy and Jeff Steele close to the scene.

Both men remain in custody without bond and face attempted murder charges.

Doctors have told Lt Colonel Trenker he will make a full recovery from his wounds and can return to work at the Southern Command Headquarters.


Lieutenant Colonel Karl Trenker


James Flournoy


Jeff Steele


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