Brater Funeral Home
(Dearborn County, Ind.) - A man who was the victim of a shooting two years ago in Dearborn County has died.
Robert Tibbits was shot during a burglary at his home in Logan Township in September of 2011. Tibbits died Tuesday, February 26 at his home.
The 55-year-old had never fully recovered after being shot with a stolen handgun by William Gajdik, an escaped convict from Nebraska, after he had broken into Tibbits’ house on Ruth Avenue.
Tibbits arrived home from work at Cincinnati Incorporated that afternoon. Tibbits was confronted by Gajdik as he entered his front door. He then turned to ran but was shot in the back by Gajdik, who stole his car and fled the area.
After being convicted by a jury last August, Gajdik was sentenced in September to 148 years in prison.
Tibbits testified at the trial and sentencing hearing, that he could no longer work and had difficulty with basic tasks like getting dressed. He had to use a walker to get around. A brace around his back and torso were used to support his organs because the gunshot had blown away the muscle, leaving only a thin layer of skin.
It is unclear what the exact cause of Tibbits’ death was. Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said results of an autopsy have not yet been returned.
"Mr. Tibbits went through a lot. We were hopeful that he would heal. It's just really, really sad," Negangard said, noting he was very sorry to the Tibbits family.
The prosecutor said although the gunshot injuries may have contributed to Tibbits' death, new charges cannot be filed against Gajdik. The shooter has already been convicted and sentenced for the shooting and to try him again would be double jeopardy.
Tibbits’ visitation was held Sunday, March 3 at Brater Funeral Home in Harrison.