The Daily Gamecock

Gaeckle back to business after shooting

Former SG president expects full recovery within six months

Andrew Gaeckle plans a return to his job Monday, just two weeks after he was shot in a late-night robbery less than a block from his apartment in Washington, D.C.

The former USC student body president ran errands Monday and will visit a Delaware beach with his mother this weekend. He’s expected to fully recover within six months.

“The calls and visits I’ve gotten from family, friends and the Gamecock nation have been amazing,” Gaeckle said Monday. “It’s a tragic accident, but I’m so thankful to still be here.”

The shooting happened after Gaeckle hopped off a Washington bus and started his short walk home around 2:30 a.m. Jan. 29, after a night with friends in the Adams Morgan district.

Instead of stopping at his apartment, he kept walking in pursuit of late-night Chinese food less than two blocks past his residence.

He didn’t hear the gunman approach from behind. The first indication was a pistol at the back of his head.

The robber took Gaeckle’s cell phone, wallet and keys. He returned the wallet after rifling through it.

Then, he threw Gaeckle’s keys to the ground. Gaeckle bent over to pick them up and took off running.

Three steps later, the bullet struck Gaeckle’s back mid-step as he escaped.

It didn’t knock him to the ground. He didn’t even break stride.

Gaeckle hurried into the Chinese restaurant he planned to visit and urged the owner to call 911, showing the bullet wound and frantically motioning for help.

“From then, I was in and out of consciousness,” Gaeckle said. “I heard the ambulances coming, but that’s about all I remember.”

Gaeckle had a meeting with Washington police officials Monday. So far a suspect hasn’t been identified, but Gaeckle got what he called a “good look at the suspect.”

“There’s not a lot of evidence to go on,” he said. “But maybe they’ll catch him doing something else.”

Gaeckle said he’s considering moving in the coming weeks. But, for now, he’s spending time with family, giving thanks and making sense of a random act of violence that almost took his life.