Family remains in good spirits as stabbing survivor recovers in ICU

Family members say Ronny Fritz, the man left in critical condition Sunday after he was stabbed in the heart while trying to stop a shoplifter at a Lowe's department store, is still in ICU but is making progress.

Stabbing victim making progress

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Family members say Ronny Fritz, the man left in critical condition Sunday after he was stabbed in the heart while trying to stop a shoplifter at a Lowe's department store, is still in ICU but is making progress.

According to Fritz' relative, Heather Marie Fritz Manigrasso, Fritz is off the respirator and breathing on his own, and was in good enough spirits just before 2 a.m. Thursday, as his pain meds began to kick in, to sing "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones.

Police said Fritz was shopping at the Lowe's in the 1500 block of Airline Road when he witnessed an attempted shoplifting and tried to stop the suspect. The suspect pulled a knife and stabbed Fritz in the arm and heart.

When police arrived at the scene, the suspects had already fled. Police have released surveillance video of the suspects but have not yet made any arrests.

Family members set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Fritz' medical expenses. It's on that page that Manigrasso has been posting updates about his health.

"Ronny has miraculously survived surgery!" Manigrasso posted in the GoFundMe page. "His heart and most organs are responding well after the trauma. His congenital respiratory issues have lead to an infection trying to take root in his lungs as a result of the trauma/treatment. He is still in ICU, but aggressive treatment of his lungs will see him recovering in a normal room soon."

On Wednesday, Manigrasso posted an update saying that Fritz was able to send text messages and that his vent tube was pulled to allow him to breathe on his own. On Thursday morning, Manigrasso posted about growing concerns over Fritz' respiratory complications, saying that his breathing is shallow and congested.

Still, family members say Fritz is a man of humor, and that was on display overnight.

"Just before 2am as his pain meds kicked in, Ronny sang, '20 20 20 4 hours to go, I wanna be sedated. Nothing to do, no where to go...'" Manigrasso posted.

If you would like to help with Fritz' medical expenses, visit gofundme.com/ronny-fritz-jr-heart-surgery.

Police are still looking to identify two male suspects in relation to Sunday's stabbing. Anyone with information that can help police is asked to contact the Corpus Christi Police Department at 361-886-2802, or contact Detective J. Smith at 361-886-2781.

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