ELYRIA — David Fenik can’t remember what kind of yard work he and his brother Jared were doing on Tuesday, mere hours before he found his brother lying on the sidewalk, bleeding and unconscious from two wounds to his arm and face.
“It’s amazing how quickly life changes,” David Fenik said. “One day we were working, the next he’s lying in a hospital bed hooked up to breathing tubes.”
Jared Fenik was shot by an unknown gunman once in the arm and once in the jaw outside 6580 Lake Ave. around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
For David Fenik, part of the horror of the evening is in the seemingly random act of gunfire.
The incident began when Jared Fenik was talking to his neighbor, Grace Clark, in her driveway on the 6500 block of Lake Ave. A man Clark hadn’t seen before arrived at the house as they were talking. He was black, looked to be in his early 20s and was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt with an orange stripe, Clark said.
“He walked right down our driveway,” Clark said, adding that the stranger seemed disoriented and smelled of marijuana.
The man asked for a ride home and Jared Fenik refused but offered to call the sheriff’s department to pick the man up, said Clark. After he waited for a few minutes as Jared Fenik called police, the man took off running southbound down Lake Avenue.
Jared, who was still on the phone at the time, followed him.
The next thing Grace Clark and her husband Delbert heard were two gunshots and a scream near David Fenik’s house just down the street.
The gunman was gone by the time David Fenik came out of his house — only seconds after the shots — to see his brother lying on the ground covered in blood.
“You think you’re sane … you think you can think straight … you can’t,” he said, talking about how he held his brother as he waited for ambulances to arrive.
For David Fenik, who considers Jared Fenik one of his closest friends as well as his brother, it was a difficult blow.
“We do everything together,” David Fenik said, explaining that they work together, live a few houses from each other and take trips to Minnesota in the winter to go snowmobiling. “How am I supposed to tell my kids?”
However, David Fenik was able to find small solace in the day after the shooting when, he said, he received almost 300 texts and phone calls from people who care about Jared and wished his family the best.
“It’s amazing how many people (care),” he said.