Carjacker Assault


Police sketch of suspect

Police sketch of suspect

A 25 year-old man is left paralyzed after being shot by thieves.

On January 5 th , 1991, a peaceful neighborhood in Orange, California, was rocked by a violent crime.   Resident John Salkins was relaxing at home that night:

“I was in my living room watching televisio and I heard an engine revving on the street, which is unusual at that time of night. And I got up to look out the window, and there were shots fired. I immediately went out to the front of my house and almost instantly a car sped by with what turned out to be the suspects. As he hit the end of the street, I saw him turn, and then they were gone.”

In the aftermath, a young man was shot and left paralyzed, his life forever changed.

Rohrey Wychgel was 25 and all set to ask his girlfriend to marry him. He had just graduated from a technical training school and planned to open his own auto repair shop.

That night, Rohrey was on his way to see his girlfriend. He said he made a quick stop at his house around 9:30 PM:

“I parked my car, turned the headlights off, left the parking lights on. I left the car running. It wasn’t uncommon for me to do that. People know when I’m there, and when I’m not, just by the sound of the car.”

According to Rohrey, on his way out, he went into the garage to find an extra set of stereo speakers for his girlfriend’s sister:

“I wasn’t in there for more than a minute at the longest and I heard my car rev up.”

As Rohrey approached his car, one of the men inside pulled out a gun and opened fire:

“All I remember is that I’m falling backward and for some reason I know I’m not going to be able to get back up. I have no idea. I don’t feel anything. I don’t hear anything. All I do is just see him run away. And then, I lost my memory, I don’t remember what happened.”

As the suspects sped away, Rohrey’s neighbors rushed to help. He had been shot twice, once in the leg and once in the neck. Rohrey had to be revived twice on the way to the hospital:

“They didn’t think I was gonna make it through the surgery, but I did. So now I have a lot of gratitude. More than I can really express.”

Years have passed since the shooting. Rohrey Wychgel cannot move his legs or hands, and has limited use of his arms.   Police are hoping that someone might be able to help identify his attackers.