Shooting victim works toward recovery
Jimmy McGeehan has gone home to Philadelphia to be with family and friends as he begins rehabilitation after an early morning assault on February 6.
McGeehan went outside when he heard someone tampering with his car. When he confronted the perpetrator, McGeehan was shot 11 times. The shooting was allegedly the result of a road rage incident that occurred Super Bowl Sunday.
McGeehan was taken by Care Flight to Washoe Medical Center in Reno after the shooting where he stayed for about two months. He went back to his native Philadelphia April 5 by ambulance airplane. He said he is happy to be home.
“I am glad I am home,” said McGeehan, who turned 30 on March 13. “It has been non-stop with family and friends. I am just sick of being in the hospital.”
News of the shooting quickly spread around the South Shore. McGeehan was a bartender at Mott Canyon Tavern & Grill, and was a well-known member of the Tahoe community. Friends and strangers rallied to the cause of his recovery, setting up fund-raisers to help pay his estimated $100,000 medical costs. McGeehan said he is overwhelmed with the support he has received.
“There are not enough words. I am shocked,” McGeehan said. “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know how many people I knew. I didn’t know how many people cared. I can’t do justice for all they have done. I am amazed by everything people have done for me. Tell everyone I said thank you.”
McGeehan is in a wheelchair for the time being. Despite suffering bullet wounds to all of his limbs and torso, McGeehan is optimistic about his recovery.
“I am standing on my left leg,” McGeehan said. “I can’t put weight on my right leg. Maybe in a couple of weeks I may be walking. When I fist came in the (hospital) room the nurse thought I’d be a paraplegic. I think a lot of people around here are really surprised how well I have done.”
One person who is not surprised by McGeehan’s recovery is his former football coach, Darwin Breaux, at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn.
McGeehan was an all-league defensive end for Dickinson in the early 1990s. Breaux described his former star’s mental and physical toughness.
“(Jimmy) has the work ethic you would want in a football player,” Breaux said. “A leader by example, a kid who was an emotional player. He was really a guy who came to play every week. When I heard of his situation I said if anyone can pull through this it is Jimmy McGeehan.”
McGeehan said he still loves Tahoe despite what happened to him. He said the reaction of the community showed the true nature of Tahoe residents.
“Everyone in Tahoe is great and all the people were great,” McGeehan said. “It is just a shame that something stupid like this happened and I won’t forget what (my supporters) have done.”
Donald Ray Lawson Jr., 32, has been arraigned in the shooting on charges attempted murder and seven counts of assault with the use of a firearm resulting in substantial bodily harm. His preliminary trial is scheduled for May 2.
For more information about Jimmy and his condition, log on at http://www.jimmymcgeehan.com.
What: Fund-raiser for shooting victim Jimmy McGeehan
Where: Club Nero, Caesars Tahoe
When: Tonight at 9 p.m.
Featuring: Raffle prizes, musicians Trey Stone and the Southside Allstars and Cool Black Kettle.
Cost: $10 for admission and two raffle tickets, $5 for additional tickets.
A bank account has been set up to accept contributions to Jimmy’s fund. Donations can be sent to:
Wells Fargo Bank
c/o Friends of Jimmy McGeehan
P.O. Box 10089
Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
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