Land Rover owners lined up their vehicles in front of Patty's Place Restaurant to pay tribute to Dave Caouette, the longtime Land Rover enthusiast, who was shot in the Seal Beach massacre while sitting his Land Rover Discovery
Caouette, a Seal Beach husband and father of three grown children, was the ninth and final person shot in California's Orange County in which eight people died. Friends said he had just pulled into the parking lot to visit Patty's, a favorite restaurant and next to the salon where the shootings occurred. Family members, including Caouette's wife, Paula, attended the tribute, which included a slideshow of photos from Caouette's many off-road trips from the sand of the Mojave Desert to the snow of the Sierra Mountains. Several dozen friends and family members gathered inside Patty's Place to remember Caouette. Outside, more friends and Land Rover enthusiasts stood with their vehicles in the parking lot in a show of respect for Caouette and his family.
'Caouette's whole life revolved around Land Rovers,' said Ed Testa, who described Caouette as the leader of a 'Gang of Four' off-roaders who met at Land Rover Mission Viejo years ago. Next to the empty spot for Caouette, Patrick Trowbridge parked his Orange G4 Challenge Discovery II. Attached was a vinyl sign on which mourners penned tributes to their fallen friend. 'Dave was a great guy,' Eric Carpenter quoted Trowbridge as saying, 'Out on the trail, he was always level headed, always prepared and always friendly. The Southern California Land Rover Club is a pretty tight-knit group and this is a big loss. We wanted to be here for his family.'
With the death of Dave Caouette, the Land Rover community has lost one of its own. LRO offers its condolences to his family and friends.
Southern California LRC. www.sclr.org/ click here for SCLR