Hudson Family Asks for Prayers for Son Shot in Washington

February 24, 2017


Joshua and Zach Keller

Joshua and Zach Keller

by Len Lathrop

Matt Keller spoke to the Hudson~Litchfield News from his son’s bedside on Tuesday afternoon.  Matt related seeing improvement in Joshua as he is being treated at a Level 2 trauma center in Parkland, Wash.  Doctors are adjusting the medication dosage to allow Joshua to be less sedated and awake more of the time.  Joshua is still on a respirator to assist with his breathing, which prevents him from communicating due to the intubation (placement of a flexible tube into the trachea).

Many of us saw the news report when Joshua Keller was shot in the neck by a friend who was cleaning a weapon, then pointed it at Joshua and pulled the trigger, claiming he did not know it was loaded.  The first news reports only identified the victim as a New Hampshire soldier, so it wasn’t until the end of last week that the community learned that the solider was from Hudson and was Joshua Keller.

For those who have not heard, the shooting happened about 3:10 p.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of 115th Street Court East in Parkland, about 40 miles south of Seattle.  According to reports outline about the shooting, Spc. Thomas Patrick Popek, a roommate of Joshua, told investigators he had been fooling around with the .45 caliber gun while cleaning the weapon, and said he pointed it at the victim and pulled the trigger.  Popek has told police he didn’t know the gun was loaded.

Prosecutors sought a $50,000 bail for Popek on the assault charge, but he was released Monday on his own recognizance.

A 23-year-old, Joshua Keller is an Army specialist assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.  He and his twin brother, Zach, are Alvirne High School graduates, who both served in the Army and both have seen multiple deployments as Rangers to Afghanistan and other Middle East conflict areas.

On the phone, Joshua’s dad, Matt, called the shooting tragic, but spoke at length about Joshua’s brother Zach’s actions at the apartment that, with Popek’s assistance, saved Joshua.  Zach did CPR as he had Popek pack the wound to contain the bleeding.  Matt mentioned that Zach gives credit to CPR training he received from retired Police Officer Dan Dolan when he worked at the Hudson Police Department as an animal control officer.  Doctors have told him that Zach’s actions saved his brother.

“The medical staff has been fantastic.  My son is alive and is going to get better because of them,” said Matt Keller.

Matt asked people to pray for his son.  He has seen it help as the family is heavily involved at St. Kathryn Church and is especially known for their unwavering faith and involvement in the Hudson community.

Matt commented that the family appreciates the “GoFundMe” page that was started.  Neither he nor Joshua’s mother in Washington are working.

Please consider making a donation to help this amazing family as no donation is too small.  All donations will go directly to Matt and Maria Keller to ease any financial burden the family may incur assisting Joshua with his recovery.