Family and friends of the 21-year-old Hardin-Simmons University student shot in the head last week by a tenant at the Mesquite Square apartment complex say they have been amazed at his rapid recovery since the incident.
After spending several days in a coma at Hendrick Medical Center, Jacob AllenÂ was alert and in fair condition Tuesday and may be released as soon as Thursday.
“He’s really been improving,” said his wife, Jessica Allen, an ACU junior early education major from Brownwood.Â “It’s incredible.”
Jacob Allen, a senior HSU business major from Brownwood,Â was working in the Mesquite Square apartment complex office around 5 p.m., according to police and media reports, when John Lee, a 73-year-old resident at the apartment complex, entered wielding a .38 caliber gun. When Lee began shooting at Allen, striking him one in the temple, Allen’s co-worker, Joshua Steed, struck Lee with a chair, disabling him, and subdued him until police arrived.
Allen and Lee were taken to Hendrick, where Lee later died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to preliminary autopsy reports.
Police and family are unsure of the motive for the attack, but Ryan Lynn, an ACU alumnus and close friend of the Allens, said Lee had been displaying sporadic behavior and making unusual complaints to the management office in the weeks leading up to the shooting.
“A few days before the shooting, he’d made amends with management and showed gratitude when they fixed his air conditioning unit,” Lynn said. “Then he came out of nowhere and attacked Jacob. It could’ve been dementia or Alzheimer’s – no one really knows.”
Allen is expected to be released within the week, Lynn said, possibly as soon as Thursday. After the condition he’d been in when he first arrived in the intensive care unit, his improvement has been “nothing short of a miracle,” his friend said.
“The outlook was not good when he first got here,” Lynn said. “He was in a coma for about four days. In fact, a couple days ago he came down with pneumonia. But he’s doing great now.”
Allen was awake, responsive and even showed a humorous outlook at the attention he’s been getting from newspapers. He did have one complaint, though.
“All the newspapers have been getting my age wrong,” Jacob Allen said. “I’m 21.”