WASHINGTON, SC (WIS) - A 24-year-old USC alumnus was taken to a Washington D.C. hospital after being shot and robbed.
After speaking with the young man's father, WIS News 10 found out the former student government president, Andrew Gaeckle, has been taken out of ICU and moved to trauma care.
After searching the East Coast for the right campus, the Colorado resident picked USC, and USC picked him. He was president of the student body. John Carroll worked beside him. "Very inclusive, was able to be everybody's friend," said Carroll, "Wasn't part of the cool crowd. Everybody wanted to hang out with him, and I think that goes a long way in getting elected."
Andrew has a reputation for coming out on top, but early Saturday morning he hit rock bottom. His family said the 24-year-old who's a consultant for a Navy defense project was shot and robbed while walking in Washington DC. His father flew to his bedside from Colorado. "To Andrew, he said get out of here," said his father Steve, "He takes off and starts running, ran about three steps, then guy shot him."
"The gun shot would have entered his back, went through his liver, diaphragm, and nicked his right lung," said Steve, "His right lung collapsed then."
Andrew moved to DC after college. He'd just gotten off the Metro and picked up Chinese food when it happened. His friends said the place where he was hurt is a place that Andrew loves. "Andrew Gaeckle is a student leader, was a student leader, and he's always going to be a leader his whole life," said Carroll, "That's where his country's leaders are and that was the natural place for him to go."
Just this summer, Andrew's worlds collided. His college's baseball team got recognized at the White House. A young man who is a diehard fan, he's now the one being cheered on. "We've had a tremendous support group around, and we can't say enough," said Steve.
The prognosis is good. Andrew is alert, and his dad hopes he'll be out of the hospital in less than a week.