A cabdriver who fought off a robbery attempt after being shot five times has died, and the man who is accused in the attack is facing upgraded charges and possibly the death penalty, Lake County officials said Tuesday.
Patrick Foster, 45, of Park City, died on Monday at Froedert Medical Center in Milwaukee, officials from the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office said. Autopsy results are pending, but Foster died as a result of the injuries he sustained fighting off the attacker who attempted to rob him in March, officials said.
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And now, Darryel Garner, 38, of the 1000 block of Westmoreland Road in Waukegan, will face charges of first-degree murder, said Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Eric Kalata.
Authorities say Garner shot Foster in the face, neck and back during the botched robbery. Garner has already been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm following the incident in the early morning hours of March 13.
"We were hoping he'd pull through, so we didn't take steps to upgrade charges yet," Kalata said. "But that process will begin immediately and he should be officially indicted next week."
Garner could have spent life in prison if found guilty of the previous charges, Kalata said. If found guilty of first degree murder, he could receive the death penalty, Kalata said.
Foster, born in Bedford, Ind., was active in Boy Scouts of America Troop 675 and was a parishioner of St. Patrick's Church in Wadsworth.
He was working as a cabdriver after becoming unemployed in 2009, said family friend Valerie Walker on Tuesday.
Garner was a passenger in Foster's cab and was being driven to Zion when Garner pulled out a handgun and shot Foster, Kalata said.
Despite his wounds, Foster jumped into the back seat and pinned down Garner while calling police, Kalata said.
Foster was initially treated at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville before being transferred to Froedert Medical Center in Milwaukee.
The original case was expected to go to trial on June 11. Garner remains held in Lake County jail in lieu of $750,000 bond.
Walker said the family is devastated by Foster's death, but "promised Patrick they would remain strong."
"Patrick was a very helpful person, and so many of the people that Patrick has helped over the years have come forward to help the family," she said. "He was young, strong, and healthy and we expected he would pull through. It just didn't happen."
Foster will be laid to rest at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 28, at St. Patrick's Church at 15000 W. Wadsworth Road. A visitation is scheduled on Thursday, May 27, from 4 until 8 p.m. at the McMurrough Funeral Chapel, 101 Park Place in Libertyville.
In lieu of flowers, people wishing to donate should donate the family through Paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fifth Third Bank is also accepting donations at its locations, with donations sent to Maria Foster FBO Patrick Foster, 4840 Grand Ave., Gurnee, IL 60031.
North Shore Trust & Savings branches in Waukegan and Lindenhurst also are accepting donations payable to the Patrick Foster family. Contributions can be mailed to the bank at P.O. Box 980, Waukegan, IL 60075-0980 or electronically through PayPal by going to supportPatrickFoster.com and clicking on the "Make Donation" link.
Foster's death comes before a fundraiser scheduled in his honor at Fat Man Inn at 36309 Route 41 in Gurnee. The event will go on as planned.
The Patrick Foster Benefit Foundation Show is being thrown by friend Joe Hernandez, and features bands and DJs playing throughout the day. All the money from the event will go to help the family pay medical bills. The event takes place from 1 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 29.