The family of a Winnipeg man who was shot in front of a dozen students in the Dominican Republic last week is asking for the public’s help to cover his medical bills.
Les Lehmann, 64, was shot multiple times after trying to stop a break-in at his apartment complex in the Dominican Republic. Manitoba students were visiting on a trip to help a local orphanage at the time and were staying at the apartment complex Lehmann owned. The kids witnessed the entire event.
Eugenia Lehmann, the man’s daughter, recently saw footage of the shooting posted by a Dominican news agency online.
“Watching the video was horrific. Nobody should have to watch something like that,” she said.
The video, which is too graphic for CBC to broadcast, shows two men armed with guns kick open a main-floor door and rush inside. Moments later, Les approaches one of the men with a bat and tries to stop him. He is then shot nine times before the men flee.
He spends time struggling on the ground, trying to prop himself up several times but being unable to, before the video cuts off.
“He laid there for a while with no one helping him,” said Eugenia, tearing up. “The effort he put into trying to save these kids and trying to make sure they were free from harm.”
Eugenia and her family have been video chatting with Les while he recovers in a Dominican hospital. She said he’s in good spirits despite the long recovery he has ahead of him.
“My kids have been able to see him too,” she said. “The next day, my son was smiling.”
Les still has debris embedded in his arms and needs more surgery.
The family has now set up a website where people can help donate money to cover his medical bills and loss of income.
“The concern is the long term recovery,” she said.
Her father, who lives in the Dominican, now wants to come back to Canada as soon as he is able to.
To donate to Les Lehmann's recovery fund, visit DonatetoLes.com.
Previous stories on this incident incorrectly spelled the compound owner's name as Lef Welehmann, based on information provided by authorities in the Dominican Republic.Feb 06, 2014 4:25 PM CT