Woman shot on river in critical condition

Published March 15, 2005

A 48-year-old wife and mother remains in critical but stable condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, the bullet that ripped into her neck Monday night still lodged near her spine.

Theresa Fauci was shot just a mile from her home along the Hillsborough River, as she and her husband returned with relatives from a pontoon boat ride along the river to Davis Islands and back.

Police say at least two shooters fired a spray of bullets from the west bank of the river into the path of the Faucis' pontoon boat shortly after 9:30 p.m. Investigators believe the shooters might have been aiming for ducks along the river, but one bullet hit Fauci.

After the shooting, police found dead ducks and bullet casings along the area of the bank where neighbors reported seeing at least two people with guns.

Fauci's mother, 70-year-old Pierrette Schneider, said doctors medicated Fauci into a comatose state to stabilize her. They can't remove the bullet in Fauci's neck because there is too much swelling, Schneider said.

"She is good to everybody," Schneider cried. "Such a wonderful girl. To do something like that to her is unimaginable."

Tuesday morning, detectives walked along the river bank looking for clues and evidence. Police have not named any suspects nor made any arrests.