The home owner, later identified as 72-year-old James, was arrested and charged with murder after he fatally shot a burglar outside his home, officials said. The home owner also told investigators that he was asleep in his home when he was awakened around 5 am by unexpected noises outside. He said he looked out a window and saw a man trying to break into his storage shed with a pickaxe, according to police documents. After hearing the disturbance and seeing someone who appeared to be burglarizing his shed, he armed himself with a handgun and went outside.
During an interview with investigators, the 72-year-old man reportedly said ‘that he went back to bed before calling 911’. According to the statement, James was held at the county jail on a $150,000 bond following his arrest over the incident. James reportedly chambered a round before heading outside, where he shouted at the man, yelling for him to stop what he was doing and warning him not to get any closer or he would shoot. The burglar allegedly didn’t listen, and James fired off a shot after the intruder took several steps toward him with the pickaxe. The single shot caused the man to drop his pickaxe and flee. As he ran off in the direction of a nearby park, James told police he fired another again, this time shooting “into the night.” Although he had shot at the man, he said he was unsure whether he had stuck him. Instead of finding out, he told authorities he went back to bed.
Hours later, James looked outside and saw a black bag in the park. Upon closer inspection, he realized the bag was an individual lying face down on the ground. Two hours after the shooting, police were dispatched to James’ residence in response to a home invasion call to 911. Officers located the suspect’s body face down in a park behind his home. The responding crew noted that the blood on the body was dry and determined that the suspect had been deceased for a while. James was arrested and charged with murder with the police affidavit noting that by James’ account, the threat of serious bodily injury against him was over when the complainant dropped the pickaxe and ran off. The affidavit also stated that James’ wife called an attorney before her husband called the police to report the incident.
The affidavit also revealed that James refused to answer the dispatcher’s questions, saying he was in need of medical attention and that he’d been the victim of a crime. When investigators couldn’t find any spent shell casings, James told them he had thrown them in the trash. In addition, neighbors’ statements to investigators, which said they’d heard three gunshots, contradicted James’ account of the number of shots he said he’d fired. Dear readers, we are republishing this story amid recent reports of a surge in violent crime and home invasions across the United States during the pandemic.