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Marine's family asks public for help finding shooter

By Megan Terlecky, News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, megan.terlecky@kesq.com
Published On: Dec 13 2012 06:20:17 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2012 07:24:01 PM CST

A Twentynine Palms Marine survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan only to get shot in Desert Hot Springs.  Now, his family is speaking out and hoping the public will help find the people responsible.

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. -

A Twentynine Palms Marine survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan only to get shot in Desert Hot Springs.  Now, his family is speaking out and hoping the public will help find the people responsible.
     
Vandi Frame, Cpl. Craig Maddy's mother says, "He always wanted to be a Marine."

Cpl. Maddy and his unit came back from Afghanistan in October.

"The last thing I said to him was, 'Just don't get any holes in your uniform, son,' and he said, 'Don't worry about me, I'm bulletproof,'" said Frame.

The 21-year-old and a few of his fellow Marines went out to celebrate a birthday on the night of Dec. 5.

Brian Link, a detective with Desert Hot Springs Police, says, "It appears that Maddy and several of his friends were involved in a physical altercation in downtown Palm Springs that continued on as Maddy and his friends drove away."

Police said a light colored SUV followed them down Indian Canyon Road and then opened fire.  

"When officers arrived on scene they found the victim, Craig Maddy, suffering from a single gun shot wound to the back of his head," said Link.

"He didn't do anything wrong," said Frame.

One of his friends pulled him out of the car and gave him first aid.

"I will love that boy for the rest of my life.  He saved my son's life and I don't care what form my son is alive now, he is alive and that is important to me," said Frame.

Maddy is breathing on his own, but he remains in critical condition.

"When we got here we were told he had sustained a none recoverable wound to his head and that even if we could sustain him on life support, my son would never come back to me, I refuse to believe that," said Maddy.

"Craig is fighting for his life and the doctors may have written him off but Craig made the decision to survive to hang on to fight his way back," said John Arnold, Maddy's Stepdad.

The shooting suspect or suspects remain at large.  Police and Maddy's family hope the public can help find them.

Daniel Bressler, Acting Chief of Desert Hot Springs Police, says, "There are people out there right now who know what happened and we need them to come forward."

"No one deserved to be chased down and gunned down," said Arnold.

"I realize that the perpetrator being brought to justice won't make my son wake up won't make him be able to recognize me but it will help me because right now I am so scared that that person is out there on the street and this is going to happen to some other Marine's mom," said Frame.

Maddy only had a few months left in the service.  His mom says he wanted to go to college and then continue to serve the country as an officer.

"They can be almost as much of a hero as my son by coming forward with information that is vital to bringing these people to justice," said Frame.

 "He is our son he is an American hero and he deserves better than this," said Arnold.

Again the shooting happened in the early morning hours of December 6th on Indian Canyon Road and north of 20th Avenue. The suspected vehicle is described as a light SUV.

Call Valley Crimestoppers at 760 341-stop if you have any information.  You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.