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Calgary man shot, paralyzed while on vacation in Barbados during attempted armed robbery

Calgary man shot while on vacation in Barbados
WATCH: Ken Elliott, 65, is in hospital after being shot during what Barbados police are calling an attempted home invasion. As Michael King reports, the shooting was caught on camera. WARNING: Some may find the video disturbing.

A Calgary man is in hospital after being shot while on vacation in Barbados.

Rodney Inniss, an acting inspector with the Royal Barbados Police Force, said 65-year-old Ken Elliott was shot during an attempted robbery on Saturday.

“Two masked men entered a house and assaulted or attempted to rob persons who were in the house,” Inniss said on Monday. “There was a confrontation, and as a result, Mr. Elliott received a gunshot injury to his left shoulder.”

The entire incident was caught on a security camera pointed at the entrance of the vacation rental. The RBPF released the video to local media in hopes of finding the suspects.

Calgary man shot in Barbados; entire incident caught on security camera
Calgary man shot in Barbados; entire incident caught on security camera

Global News spoke to Linda Brooks, Elliott’s wife, who was in the house when the masked men entered. She said her sister-in-law had just gone out for a cigarette when the two men barged in. The RBPF said at least one man had a handgun and the other appeared to have a machete.

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In the video, a short fight ensues between Elliott and the would-be robbers. After eight seconds, Elliott was shot in the left shoulder, Inniss said.

Brooks said the bullet entered Elliott’s shoulder, continued through his lung and got lodged in his spine. She said he is paralyzed from the clavicle down, meaning he still has use of his arms but cannot walk.

An undated photo of Linda Brooks and Ken Elliott.
An undated photo of Linda Brooks and Ken Elliott. Courtesy: Linda Brooks

Elliott was airlifted to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Sunday, but it is not known when he can return to Calgary, according to Brooks and the RBPF.

“Ken can’t travel back yet. He’s still got a tube in his left lung,” Brooks said. “They’ve got to stabilize him and they also would like to pull the bullet out. They need it for forensic evidence.”

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Brooks said Elliott may still need surgery in the coming days but it could be risky.

“The danger of taking his bullet out is that they can do more damage,” said Brooks. “Right now, he does have the use of his arms.”

But leaving the bullet in could lead to infection, Brooks explained.

Inniss said the RBPF’s investigation is ongoing.

“We have not taken anyone into custody as a result of that matter yet,” said Inniss. “But, certainly, we’re taking this matter very seriously just like any matters involving shooting.”

Retirement plans

Brooks said Elliott worked in fleet services for the City of Calgary for 36 years and retired a year and a half ago. She said she and her husband had just started to enjoy the retirement lifestyle and had plans to travel as much as possible.

“We’ve been saving our money for years to be able to travel and do things,” Brooks said. “We just recently bought a van that [Elliott] was going to turn into a camper.”

The couple had plans to travel to Canada’s East Coast and Europe in the coming months.

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Brooks said Elliott is just now realizing how the shooting will impact those plans.

“He’s very depressed,” Brooks said. “Everything’s changed. We can’t do what we had planned to do and he feels like he’s a burden.”

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Brooks said their house in Calgary is a four-level split — a layout that isn’t conducive to someone in a wheelchair.

“We’re not going to be able to live there any longer,” Brooks said. “We’re going to have to move somewhere else.”

Fundraising for Elliott

Landon Zabloski, a longtime friend of Elliott, has set up a GoFundMe page to support him.

“We’re trying to raise funds to help with the recovery,” said Zabloski. “We don’t know what it’s going to look like and we don’t know what kind of costs they are going to incur.”

Zabloski said many of Elliott’s former colleagues are worried about his future.

“It’s just the worst news,” said Zabloski. “For a guy who works so hard for so many years to have his retirement taken away from him like that, it’s just sickening.”

– With files from Global News’ Tomasia DaSilva