FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. – In February of 2020, Gabe Heefner decided he wanted to join the Marine Corps.
The 2020 Kirkwood High School graduate had gone through boot camp, infantry training, and communications school, graduating at the top of his Marine Corps class of 45.
“Gabe can walk into a room and light it up with just his smile,” said Steven Seeder, staff sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. “I immediately knew the there was something special about him. He’s always happy and that’s why he can light up a room.”
Lance Cpl. Heefner was visiting his grandparents in Iowa City and picking up dinner when he was struck by a bullet in the temple while driving Sunday evening.
Heefner is currently in the hospital.
His friends have started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. He was working to become a transmission systems operator.
Seeder recruited Heefner and said he knew right away that the young man had a lot of potential.
“Not every applicant that applies some are diamonds in the rough, but he was a little bit polished,” Seeder said. “I did see those qualities in him right away and I knew he was going to fit right in, right into our community, as a leader, and as motivated, and as much initiative as he actually has.”
Right now, Heefner’s fellow Marines are asking for prayers for the young man and Iowa City police are trying to find answers to the shooting.