Craigslist Transaction Gone Bad: Marine Shot, Plugs Wounds with Fingers

I don’t know if you’ve ever bought or sold anything though I’ve completed a few transactions via the site and have had good luck. But I’ve followed a couple of self-imposed rules. The most important is that I was always met the other party either on my own turf or, preferably, a neutral public place. There’s no way to know who’s placing or answering your ad or what they may have up their sleeve. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Karl Trenker hadn’t thought the process through that far when he agreed to meet a potential buyer for his fiance’s gold chain…

Then again, Trenker’s looks like he can take care of himself. He’s ripped and probably figured no one would mess with him. After all, he’d made it though multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan without being “shot or blown up.” From

He said the confrontation with the robbers took place after his girlfriend Tanta Siaz advertised a gold chain for sale on Craigslist. The U.S. Marine said he volunteered to carry out the sale and drove to an apartment complex to meet the potential buyers. As he showed off the necklace one of the men shoved him and grabbed the jewellery.

The two thugs took off with the necklace and that’s when Lt. Col. Trenker made mistake number two. I don’t know what that necklace is worth, but it couldn’t have been worth what happened.

Lt Colonel Trenker said he chased after the two men when one of them turned round and opened fire, hitting him multiple times. He said he plugged the bullet holes (with his fingers) while calling his girlfriend on his cell phone and calmly telling her: ‘I’ve been shot.’

We’re glad that Trenker will be OK after some major surgery and should be able to resume his duties at the Southern Command HQ. The police quickly apprehended James Flournoy and Jeff Steele, the shooters, who will be whiling away some quality time thanks to the generosity of the Sunshine State’s taxpayers.


  1. avatar Martin Albright says:

    I wish him a speedy recovery, but damn, you would expect a field grade officer to have a bit more street-smarts, wouldn’t you?

    If he does this again (which I doubt he will) he should take a sharp Gunny with him.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      you would expect a field grade officer to have a bit more street-smarts

      I’d pick a battalion commander for advice on supply chain management. When it comes to street-smarts, I’d choose a crusty noncom.

    2. avatar thatoneguy says:

      You must not have much experience in dealing with officers. For political posturing and making terrible, non-common sense decisions they’re great. But for street smarts and gettin the jobs done it’s all about NCO’s.

      1. avatar Tom says:

        Some truth to that statement.

        1. avatar John Fritz says:

          Agreed. That’s pretty much how it worked during my time in the Air Force.

  2. avatar BWCustoms says:

    Yea – bad mojo there.

    Anytime I’ve sold a firearm to a private party we meet in a very public place.

    In Georgia its perfectly legal to sell face to face so I could care less what any bystander might see. Not that I am completely out in the open. But you can be discreet and in a public well lit area.

  3. avatar Martin Albright says:

    I am not a 100% concealed carrier for a number of reasons, but I always carry when I am meeting someone for a CL transaction. And I also always meet in the daylight in a public place (parking lot of a shopping center is my favorite.) Safer for everyone concerned.

    The only time I would invite someone to my house would be if the item in question is something too big to transport: A car, motorcycle, etc.

    I’ve been “craigslisting” for years and have yet to have a bad experience. Like anything else in life, you have to exercise common sense and SA.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    I’d close a similar transaction at the gun range, where everybody is armed. To the teeth.

  5. avatar pair-o-dee says:

    You do these things at airports, of course. Might as well get some benefit from the security theater.

  6. avatar Sean C says:

    Sad that our soldiers are surviving war zones, then come back and are shot here at home.

    Another soldier was shot at his homecoming party.

    Thank you guys.

    1. avatar GA Koenig says:

      You think that is bad, you should see the stats on the number killed on motorcycles.

      Young Males Fostered in Military Environment + Invincibility Complex from Combat + Bonus Pay + Inexpensive 150+hp Sportbikes = Lots of Dead Marines/Soldiers.

      I think it was 2009 when the USMC lost more Marines to motorcycles than they did to combat ops in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined.

  7. avatar Sean C says:

    My friends make fun of me for wearing my vest occasionally when going out at night in bad areas.

    A high quality vest is thin and easily concealable under a sweater/sweatshirt.

    You’d carry a gun, but not wear a vest?

  8. avatar Texan says:

    From the article:

    Lieutenant Colonel Karl Trenker, 29…

    Either they botched the rank or the age.

    Whenever the media reports on something I know about, they botch something – sometimes major, sometimes not. I’m left believing that when they report on things I don’t know about (i.e. most things), they botch those also.

    1. avatar Elliotte says:

      Looking at the pics of him, he doesn’t quite look 29, maybe it was 39

  9. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Seeing as this was in FL, no reason not to a) Bring a gun, and b) Bring some friends with guns.

  10. Urahh Devil Dog!! Done in True Marine Corps style…not just one bullet…several!!

  11. avatar Richard says:

    Ex Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper once was asked when alive what kind gun bring if some like this happen him. Jeff Cooper would all,s replye he would go place where he thoguht life might be in such danger that need weapon at all be safe suvire trip there . Think about smart becuase if bad guy kill owen gun before kill him your gun just dead man hold owen gun well take way from seen in body bag.

    1. avatar pair-o-dee says:

      Richard, I couldn’t agree more, even if I had a clue what you were on about. In fact, I’d add the following – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

  12. avatar Richard says: was great place once for cealer killers of female hookers and female escorts becuase all cealer kill had do call them up at wait for them show up kill them. So story really good warning that do not have be female hooker or escort end up dead or injured badly if do not use common sense useing

  13. avatar Tam 212 says:

    Must have been hit with puny 9mm with (thankfully) poor aim…

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      What, a PC vs Mac war isn’t enough for today on this site, we have to have a caliber war as well?

      1. avatar Tam 212 says:

        gah. that was supposed to be tongue in cheek. ()

        Mac vs. PC war?

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          In the Xbox Live Gun Control post.

      2. avatar rosignol says:

        I s’pose we could combine them, and argue about which calibers are best for shooting computers. 😉

  14. avatar Tom says:

    I would say that Trenker is lucky to be alive and the perps really set him up for the kill. Really a bad way to do this type of transaction.

  15. avatar Aharon says:

    I will only buy and sell guns through a gun dealer. I do it to create a solid paper trail that will cover me if a future owner commits a crime with a gun I sold and not so much out of concern for being robbed though that is a possibility. I know people who buy and sell small amounts, at a time, of physical gold and silver bullion. The sellers will only meet someone at a coin show convention, a major bank lobby, or other such place for safety.

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