‘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 fiancée 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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  • Mr.White

    Once again, blacks demonstrate they would just as soon kill you for sneakers, gold chains, or anything else they can take from you!

  • jack in Chicago

    Lieutenant Colonel Karl Trenker sounds heroic, but also sounds a bit foolish.

    What kind of sane White person accepts an invitation from a Craig’s list advert to sell a gold chain to these scary looking groids, meeting them at their housing project?

    Just look at the photos of these people!

    Was this in the middle of the night?

    Wow – that’s not a very bright thing for a White man to do.

  • Ted

    This story is a lie.

    They show the criminals as black and everyone knows blacks abhor crime on any level.

    All I see here is racism involving two fine young black males who were on their way to church services.

  • Urban Teacher

    What was he thinking? You can sell gold to jewelers and they won’t shoot you.

    At least, now I know how to plug the holes if I ever get shot.

  • Anonymous

    “The US marine said he volunteered to carry out the sale and drove to an apartment complex to meet the potential buyers.”

    Bad mistake. When your selling something on Craigslist or some other venue, never let the buyer dictate where and when the transaction will occur. You don’t know them and don’t know what you are walking into. Arrange to meet them in a public place, like a shopping mall or something. Somewhere where there are lots of people and they can’t catch you unawares.

    Something similar happened here in Toronto not too long ago. There was a (white) Canadian couple that wanted to sell some rings. The husband was out of work and the wife is disabled. Two black Jamaicans came to their house as “buyers”. They robbed them and brutally beat them both. Your house is just as bad a place as the buyer’s to meet at. Always choose a public place with lots of people around.

  • Question Diversity

    Speaking of Craigslist robberies:


    AR covered the robbery a few weeks ago, but this breaking news is that there are (the usual) suspects.

    One thing that should be noted from this story is that the only reason the Marine survived is because he knew how to plug his own holes temporarily. But for that, he would have died. This is partially why the homicide and murder rate is down, because victims are more likely to be saved in the ER, or in his case, he saved himself at first. In reality, this as homicidal behavior. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is the better acid test of the criminality of a jurisdiction or group of people.

  • young jim

    I bet this doesn’t count as a hate crime.

  • Conrad

    “…his girlfriend Tanta Siaz…”

    Hmm, I wonder about that.

  • Detroit WASP

    Glad the LtCol. is okay but… taking your kids to an apartment complex to sell a damn gold chain from a craig’s list ad ????

    That was beyond dumb.

    He should have worn his flack jacket.

    Lucky the kids weren’t hurt.

  • Peejay in Frisco

    The almost same thing happened in Oakland recently, but the victim was black, and he didn’t survive. He was a veteran from Afghanistan, and he didn’t get a scratch there. He donated a lot of his organs. Could have been mistaken identity. Black on Black violence really is significant.

  • Jim

    #2, Jack, yes it was foolish. Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking. It’s difficult for some whites to see blacks for what they are. Perhaps he didn’t want to be seen as “racist.” Perhaps, too, he thought he could “reason” with the “youths.” Two big mistakes. They see the desire to “reason” as weakness, plain and simple.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    “The Russian dug in on his own territory is twice as dangerous.” The good Colonel must have been out that day at The War College.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    Craigslist stories remind me of the AVALANCHE of bizarre phone calls and emails I got when trying to sell an antique car online. One I remember was from a “lady” who said she was “uncomfortable” with giving out her email address for pictures and would rather just meet in person to buy the car sight unseen….I told my spouse, “No woman in the history of the world has ever been too “uncomfortable” to talk to a blind date on the phone first, before meeting him in person.”

  • Anonymous

    A light colonel at 29? He must hold the world’s record for promotions. You need a college degree to be an officer, so at 21 or 22 he was a 2nd lieut. He goes from 0-1 to 0-5 in 7 years? I knew guys in their 30s who were still captains.

  • Anonymous

    Same thing happened in Ottawa, Canada in 2009. Two Somalis, aged 17 and 18, arranged to meet a woman selling her two thousand dollar bracelet.

    The showed up with the intention of snatching it from her and driving away, but instead she resisted and ended up being dragged by the perpetrator’s car.


  • Anonymous

    It seems veterans serve overseas safely only to be shot at home. Perhaps our true enemies are right here and not thousands of miles away.

  • Anonymous

    Colonel’s girlfriend Tanta Siaz says he saved her from danger, because “those guys were expecting me to be there, not him.”


  • HH

    There is a serious lesson to be learned here that may be lost on many. Those who still buy into this concocted “war on terror” baloney, that we must fight them “over there” so we don’t have to fight them “over here” ar ethe same people who utterly ignore the race nightmare right here at home! This is the REAL threat to America every day – not some tribal boogeyman in a faraway province of Afghanistan! Of course I’m not suggesting no Muslim poses a threat to the West (particularly those who have flooded into Europe), but it is the murderous people right here under our noses that are responsible for a body count and for violence and mayhem that the “Al-Quaida’s” and whatnot can only dream about!

  • Anonymous

    These blacks were forced to commit this crime by the magic racism of white people. They didn’t want to, they’re gentle, caring people and aspiring hip hop artists but the juju of the white man was too powerful for them.

    Someday when white people don’t exist anymore the world will be a paradise with free food, clothing and cars for the taking without anyone having to work for them.

    Everyone knows that these things appear magically out of thin air and white people selfishly keep them for themselves.

  • carlos mendidiaz bamma

    unlikely story. sounds more like he was trying to cop drugs for his mexican date. only a leftist would believe this story.

  • Anonymous

    The guy is a Lt-Colonel and seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan. You would think he would know better. But the military today is very politically correct and he probably didn’t want to be perceived as “racist”. That just goes to show you how P.C. makes even tough marines stupid. At least they caught the two people who did this. That’s two less creeps on the streets for a long time.

  • Eric

    I don’t know how many people on this site are shocked to know that America is a more dangerous place than Afghanistan or Iraq. I know I’m not, as I suspect most people on this site aren’t. I can guarantee you would be much safer in Baghdad than you would in any major city in the US.

  • Kenelm Digby

    The moral of this story is never, but never let a black man past the front gate (let alone front door), of your home.

  • Uncle Bob

    This man was just very lucky — perhaps even blessed; but sadly he seems to lack good sense and reason.

    Live and learn… I hope he’ll be able to do both.

  • John Engelman

    Those two were born for a life of violent crime. We would be better off if they had never been born. They look arrogant because they know they will not get the punishment they deserve.

    We need the thorough exploitation of prison labor, and the frequent use of capital and corporeal punishment. Forget about psychological therapy, remedial education, and job training. They have done nothing to deserve that. They have debts to pay society.

  • Shawn (the female)

    A man this foolish is a Marine Officer? That makes me really nervous.

  • Paleface 6

    If you’re going to make a transaction off of Craigslist, offer to meet the other party in the local police station’s lobby.

    And bring backup. One to do the transaction, two for cover.

  • Anonymous

    What happened to Cash for Gold? They are all over the Television.

  • Anonymous

    Someone here brought up the name of the LT’s girlfriend. Yes, it does sound odd. I now wonder what his kids look like.

  • Ken P.

    Someone wrote: ““…his girlfriend Tanta Siaz…”

    Hmm, I wonder about that.”

    The link to the main article shows a photo of her. She’s as white as the Third Earl of Sandwich.

  • Anonymous

    Colonel’s girlfriend Tanta Siaz said he saved her from danger, “because they were expecting me to be there and not him”

    He probably also saved her from being brutally raped too.

    Btw, there is a picture of her. She is an attractive white woman with blonde hair. Not every person with a Spanish surname is brown. Since this is Florida she could possibly be of white Cuban origin.

  • South African

    Twenty-nine and Lt-Colonel? That fast, maybe battlefield promotions. But yes, I can identify with him. Back then in our Border war we were armed to the teeth and our job was to shoot in self defense.

    Today in civilian life you at times have more dangerous situations than in our wait-and-see guerilla war and all kinds of anti-gun laws prohibit you shooting (you have to prove imminent danger to your life to the courts. A concealed weapon is not imminent danger, only if it is on the way being pointed at you. During Apartheid we had Schedule 1 crimes – now scrapped – you may shoot a thief while stealing on your property, or trespassing against your express command, e.g. warning shot).

    When applying for a gun license (or a renewal every five years) it has to be accompanies by a motivation. ‘Self-defense’ is no reason anymore for they reason that is why you can call the police, you have to be more specific, like proving with police statistics that you stay in a dangerous area and need a gun while traveling to and fro from work.

    We stay in a topsy-turvey world where nonsense has become the norm.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    I would like to touch on South African`s definition of trespassing against your express command (firing a warning shot). Woe be to the person , EVEN UNARMED, who continues to advance on me AFTER I have pointed a gun in his direction…

  • Anonymous

    This man must be a darn good soldier too, to be a lieutenant colonel at age 29. I would guess that is 8-10 years ahead of the typical age when that rank is given.

  • Anonymous

    The colonel has 29 years service in the Marine Corps.

    The reporter erroneously gave the colonel’s age as ’29’. Although he’s a very fit and youthful-looking man in his early 50’s, anyone thinking it through should have caught the error.

  • Anonymous

    A poorly written article. Whatever happened to British standards of English?

  • Anonymous

    #34 He is a Marine, not a soldier, Soldiers are in the Army.

  • South African

    Our General Constand Viljoen, erstwhile Chief of the Defense Force, became colonel at the age of 35. If I remember correctly, there were a lot of relative young generals in the old German Wehrmacht. So it is not impossible. That is, if the army is not too politicized from the top and still recognizes merit where merit is due.


  • Anonymous

    There were a number of mistakes in this article. The man is 48 years old, not 29. He has been a marine for 29 years. His fiancee is called Tanya not “Tanta”, and she is a white woman. Apparently he seems to have thought the meeting place was a plaza and not an apartment complex. He should have left immediately once this became clear. Unfortunately for him though, he didn’t. Always remember when you sell something to a stranger, make sure YOU PICK the time and place, never the reverse, and never, ever meet at your home. Make it a public place with a lot of people and try to bring a big friend or two with you as well. Somebody suggested the lobby of a police station. Not a bad idea if the cops don’t mind.