Nearly Eight Months After Shooting Death, Punke Family Still Looking For Answers

Published 03/05 2014 04:20PM

Updated 03/05 2014 06:16PM

EL PASO - In July, an El Paso family lost their father and husband, after he was shot one afternoon while working in his yard. On Thursday, Woodford County printed his death certificate, saying the cause of the death was still unknown.

Danita Punke remembers sitting in this chair on July 20, when she heard the sound of gunfire ring out near her house.

"At the time, I thought it was a rifle of some sort, that someone was out hunting," said Punke.

Shortly after, Punke saw her husband, Terry, come inside, from working in the yard.

"I knew it was bad,” she recalled. “He had a lot of blood, and it just seemed like it took the police forever to get here."

On the way to the hospital, Punke says her husband told ambulance operators, he was bent over when he was shot.

"Even when he got to the emergency room, he was still talking," said Punke.

Four days later, Punke died at OSF-Saint Francis, and an investigation to produce a death certificate began.

A coroner's jury determined that Punke died of a gunshot wound to the face in his backyard, but at this point, they're still not sure if it was accidental or intentional.

"Police know the type of gun and the caliber, but they're not saying," said Punke.

Police also determined that the shot was fired from more than eight feet away, but less than 50 yards. They also determined it was done with a handgun, not a rifle.

"I just can't believe that someone doesn't know something," said Punke.

There are still no suspects in the case, and Punke says each time someone asks about it, she has to relive that day.

"The not knowing has made it a thousand times worse than if we'd known he'd had a heart attack or a stroke or anything,” said Punke.

And the efforts to find answers are ongoing. The family has set up a Facebook page, asking for tips and help and is offering a $10,000 reward for suspect information.

The Woodford County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the case, since it's an ongoing investigation. They did confirm that outside agencies are now helping with the investigation.

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