A local man was shot during a robbery last week at a south Fargo Taco John’s location while he and two other employees were closing down the restaurant for the evening.
While taking out the trash at around midnight, the employees were confronted by two men who demanded money. The employee who was shot said at first glance he believed the robbers to be carrying a cap gun. Two shots were fired, one of which hit him in the leg. He was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The victim of the shooting, Carl W., father of two, had picked up the shift from another female employee who now credits him with inadvertently and quite possibly saving her life. He was working with two high school students the night of the incident, aged 16 and 17. As the robbers attempted to force their way into the restaurant, Carl put himself between the gunman and his fellow employees, giving them time to hide in the freezer and under a table.
Armed robberies used to be a rare occurrence in the area, but have become more common in recent years. Fargo police announced plans to release images captured by surveillance and nearby traffic cameras. Fargo Police Lt. Mike Mitchell said, “We have absolutely no leads at this time.” Mitchell described the suspects as 5 feet 9 inches tall and 5 feet 11 inches tall, and that they were wearing face masks, dark-colored sweatshirts and jeans.
The incident hit close to home for many in the community, including Energy Media Group CEO Michael Marcil, who lives in an adjacent neighborhood. Upon hearing the news, Marcil felt compelled to visit the restaurant to express his condolences and bring Carl a card and donation. When he arrived, he met the mother of Carl’s children who brought him to meet Carl in person. After receiving Marcil’s condolences, Carl smiled and said, “Don’t worry about me. Things happen, and it’s really no big deal.”
Carl’s family said that he never wanted to be a burden. After being shot, he tried to clean up his own blood, and while in the emergency room he apologized to the doctors and nurses who were caring for him. He lives modestly and responsibly as he works to provide for his two small children. However, he does not have medical insurance and is unable to work because of his injury.
The bullet has since been removed, though the wound can’t be stitched shut for a week. The bullet had caused an infection, which delayed its removal and resulted in a fever, swelling and acute pain. Caring for the wound is tedious, and Carl and his family are hoping for good news at the next doctor’s visit.
Although Carl remains positive in the face of hardship, the weight of medical bills can be unnecessarily daunting following a trauma. Throughout the state, North Dakota is growing, and moving away from the tightly knit communities of days past. To help Carl get back on his feet, a GoFundMe campaign has been created. If you wish to help a fellow member of the Midwestern community, please visit the site by clicking here, or by clicking on the image below.