Missionary shot in neck

first_imgThe missionary was in El Salvador, giving his time to help the poor. In return, Peter DeSoto, 32, suffered a gunshot to the neck last month in a mysterious surprise attack. But the married father of four from Valencia remains dedicated to the people of rural El Salvador, asking on a Web log that people pray for the people of Abelines, the poverty-stricken town near where he was shot. “He’s recovering well physically, but it will take some time to recover emotionally, but his spirits are really high,” said Larry Kasper, director of the U.S. office of ENLACE, the Christian group for which DeSoto was working. “He’s a great guy and a very talented individual,” Kasper said, adding that DeSoto left a lucrative career when he moved to El Salvador more than two years ago. DeSoto was released from a hospital in El Salvador on Wednesday, friends said. He is with Copper Hill Community Church in Valencia, which has a picture of the DeSoto family atop its Web site. “Peter, he’s one of my best friends, and I just love the guy,” said the Rev. John Allard, assistant pastor at the church. “He’s a guy who really trusts God. He’s the sort of guy where if you were in a foxhole, you would want Peter next to you because Peter knows God.” According to an online account from fellow missionary Dave McGee, De- Soto was shot Jan.18 as he and other ENLACE workers were traveling on a dirt road after leaving Abelines. A masked man approached their vehicle and opened fire, striking DeSoto in the neck with a .22-caliber bullet and shattering a couple of windows. With the help of the U.S. Embassy, a Salvadoran military helicopter flew DeSoto to El Salvador’s capital city for medical treatment. Hours before the shooting, DeSoto was in Abelines talking on video about a project to build a medical clinic there. The motive for the shooting was unclear, but it might have been a robbery attempt or a gang initiation, Allard said. At RunningOnWater.com, the De- Soto family’s blog about their experience in El Salvador, Peter DeSoto asked that people, “pray for the community of Abelines, where I was shot.” “They have met a couple of times as a church and community since the incident,” he wrote. “They feel ashamed that this would happen to me in their community.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more