MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – A Rhode Island man is being hailed as a hero after being shot multiple times this weekend.
Police said Jason Almeida, 32, of Middletown, was shot multiple times at the Casco, Maine, home owned by Sandra Goulet, mother of Almeida’s girlfriend, Alyssa.
According to police, Sandra Goulet’s ex-boyfriend, 55-year-old Norman Strobel, and an accomplice went to the home Saturday night and pounded on the door. But instead of finding Sandra, they spotted Alyssa and Almeida. Alyssa said Strobel initially aimed the gun through a locked window directly at her, but it was Almeida who was shot multiple times.
“My boyfriend is a hero, he saved my life,” Alyssa Goulet wrote in a statement to Eyewitness News. “The gun was being aimed at me in order to cause my mother pain and sorrow. We already were a strong couple and this incident will bring us closer and we will have a deeper connection and love. We will survive and thrive.”
The Portland Press Herald reported Strobel was arrested in late July for violating a temporary protection order on behalf of Sandra Goulet. The paper reports he served time in prison and was released on Nov. 19 – just one week before he allegedly shot and critically wounded Almeida.
Now Alyssa Goulet wants to know why her mother’s abusive boyfriend was ever released.
“He has multiple charges and has continued to be a domestic violence nuisance and threat to my family,” Alyssa wrote. “This was a tragic domestic violence crime that could have been prevented if the laws, policies, judges take domestic violence more seriously. Laws and policies need to change.”
According to police, after Strobel shot Almeida he returned to a mobile home belonging to 55-year-old Richard Diekema, who was letting Strobel stay with him. Police believe Diekema had also driven Strobel to Goulet’s home, and may have been his accomplice in the shooting. Alyssa Goulet said it was Diekema who initially knocked on their door.
When Strobel returned to Diekema’s home, Alyssa said, Strobel called her mother’s friend and told her he did something “very bad,” going on to say, “I killed Alyssa and her boyfriend.”
At some point after that, police say Strobel shot and killed Diekema. When police arrived at Diekema’s home, Strobel attempted to ambush them and was shot and killed by officers.
Now Alyssa, physically unhurt, is staying by the bedside of her boyfriend Jason, who remains in the ICU of a hospital in Maine.
Unable to speak, Almeida has been using a pen and paper to communicate with friends and relatives.
“All I could think laying on that cabin floor was that he was going to come in and kill you, too,” he wrote in one note to Alyssa. “And there was nothing I’d be able to do at that point.”
“Jason needs to be recognized as a hero because he is, he saved my life,” Alyssa said.
Alyssa said her father thanked Almeida for saving his daughter’s life.
“Not hero,” Almeida wrote with his pen and paper. “Protecting the love of my life.”
Alyssa said Jason still has a terrific sense of humor despite what he’s been through, and is hopeful to get back to one of his favorite hobbies, snowboarding, by his birthday in January.
For now, he has a long road to recovery, and no medical insurance. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover his medical expenses. As of Tuesday night, close to $10,000 had been raised.