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Husband focuses on wife, not hunt for shooter

Theresa Fauci, shot while riding in a boat, is "finally past the worst part," he says.

Published March 25, 2005

TAMPA - She remains in the intensive care unit at St. Joseph's Hospital, with her brain still swollen and the bullet that ripped into her neck nearly two weeks ago lodged near her spine.

But Theresa Fauci's husband considers his wife's surviving the Hillsborough River attack a miracle, and he is too busy concentrating on her slow but steady recovery to think about the shooter police have yet to catch.

"Right now the furthest thing from my mind is what the police are doing," said Joe Fauci, 51. "I just want my wife home."

Theresa Fauci, her husband and three adult cousins were enjoying a ride along the Hillsborough River in their pontoon boat when shots rang out as the boat traveled north of the Columbus Avenue bridge toward the Faucis' riverfront home in West Tampa.

A bullet struck Fauci, 48, in the right side of her neck, shattering an artery and cutting off blood to that side of her brain.

Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said officers are pursuing leads and conducting interviews in the case. After the shooting, police recovered .22-caliber casings along the west riverbank, where witnesses reported several shots had come from a group of males.

Fauci's husband said she is coherent and can move her limbs, despite having suffered a small stroke after the shooting. Doctors are closely monitoring the swelling in her brain.

"The neurosurgeon thinks we are finally past the worst part," Joe Fauci said Thursday. "He says the swelling is going down, because every day her response is better. We're looking at the positive things. It's going as well as it could go."

Still, he feels "lost" as he sees his wife, friend and business partner lying in a hospital bed.

"We're a normal, everyday family just living our lives," he said.

"Everything's going so right, and to have your world turn to shambles because somebody said, "Watch me scare the people in that boat.' I can't believe it."

Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler can be reached at 813 226-3373 or

[Last modified March 25, 2005, 01:00:17]

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