WASHINGTON, DC (WIS) - The family of a former University of South Carolina student body president says he is ready to be moved out of intensive care after being shot during a robbery over the weekend in Washington, DC.
Andrew Gaeckle, 24, will be moved out of the ICU to trauma care as soon as a bed is available, according to Gaeckle's father.
Steve Gaeckle said Andrew's internal bleeding has stopped, and he is able to walk around. Steve said he's hopeful Andrew will be discharged in a matter of days.
The Colorado native picked USC after searching the east coast for the right campus, and USC picked Gaeckle by making him president of the student body.
"Very inclusive, was able to be everybody's friend," said John Carroll, who worked beside Gaeckle. "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."
Early Saturday morning, Gaeckle's family said the 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 gunshot 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.
Steve said the Metropolitan Police Department is handling the case. We have tried to contact the department and are waiting to hear back from the law enforcement officials to see if they have any leads in the case. We'll bring you more information as it becomes available.