South Lake Tahoe shooting victim clings to life | SierraSun.com

South Lake Tahoe shooting victim clings to life

Jeff Munson
Sun News Service

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE ” In a coma and on a respirator, South Lake Tahoe resident Eric Domingo made it through the crucial first 24 hours in the hospital after being shot in the face Saturday morning.

The single bullet from a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol punched the 2005 South Tahoe High School graduate below the eye, and ricocheted in his head before exiting through the back of his neck, his family told the Tahoe Daily Tribune this morning.

In the early evening doctors told the family that it didn’t appear as though the bullet pierced the brain. They were relieved. But later Saturday night, a surgeon at Renown Medical Center in Reno told the family that after further review from an MRI, it appeared the brain stem had been damaged and the possibility exists he suffered debilitating injuries.

“I’m a Christian and I know in my heart he will recover,” Domingo’s mother, Judy Domingo, said this morning. “I have to have some kind of faith that God is not ready for my son yet; he’s not ready to take him. He’s too young. He’s a fighter.”

Also factored into Domingo’s condition is an extreme loss of blood. Pints of blood were given to him in transfusion because the bullet had also damaged a major artery, possibly severing it, his family said.

The circumstances that led to the shooting shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday remain unclear. A crime unit from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene and is conducting the investigation alongside the South Lake Tahoe police.

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What is known is that 20-year-old Casey Curcie-Crummett of South Lake Tahoe was arrested on suspicion of assault with a firearm in connection with Domingo’s shooting. He was released on $30,000 bail, jail officials said.

Friends at the scene of the shooting on Tamarack Avenue took Domingo to the South Lake Tahoe Fire Station on Ski Run Boulevard and Pioneer Trail after he was shot. As police arrived, they were told by the friends who delivered Domingo to the fire department that the shooting was “accidental.”

South Lake Tahoe police haven’t made a determination because it is still under investigation.

Meanwhile word has spread around the community about Domingo’s condition, especially among his friends. Domingo graduated from South Tahoe High School, where he played football. He was considered an all-star and made quite a name for himself in athletics, according to family.

Since graduating, Domingo has worked in South Lake Tahoe, at Meeks, and as of late, a house painter. His mother describes him as shy, quiet, meticulous and dapper. You would never see a hair out of place on his head, she said.

“He’s always been like that. He keeps himself up. He’s athletic and is always very nice to people. That’s why I don’t understand why this had to happen. He’s a good kid,” she said.

South Lake Tahoe police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this matter, Lt. Martin Hale told the Tahoe Daily Tribune on Saturday.

“We’re still moving forward on our investigation. There are some details that are not confirmed,” Hale said.

The family of Curcie-Crummett, contacted by the Tahoe Daily Tribune today, politely declined to comment on the matter after being advised by an attorney.

Domingo’s sister, Heather Gleaton, said her brother doesn’t have medical insurance and that the family is working to put some kind of bank account fund into action tomorrow. She said calls from friends, family and members of the South Lake Tahoe football team keep coming to the family.

“You see this stuff on TV and think it would never happen to your family,” his sister said. “I know he will pull through. I know he will,” she said.