Published May 26, 2010
An 80-year-old Chicago man shot and killed an armed man who broke into his two-story house in a pre-dawn home invasion Wednesday on the city's West Side.
At about 5:20 a.m., the homeowner and his wife, also in her 80s, discovered the intruder entering their home through a back door. The homeowner, who had a gun, confronted and killed the burglar on the doorstep, police said. Cops said the intruder also fired his gun during the struggle.
"It's a good thing they had a gun, or they might be dead," said Curtis Thompson, who lives next door to the couple, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Neighbors described the elderly couple, who both walk with canes, as pillars of the community in Garfield Park, where home invasions have been all too frequent.
Their neighbor, Shaquite Johnson, told MyFoxChicago that the two are "heroes" for fighting off the attacker — and that the shooting means there is "one less criminal" walking the streets.
"They don't bother no one, so why would anyone do that to them?" she said.
Relatives of the couple told the Sun Times that the man is an Army veteran, his wife a former nurse. Police said neither the man nor the woman was injured in the attack.
The assailant, who was described by police as being in his 30s, was found slumped on the back doorstep of the couple's house, removed four hours after the shooting, the Sun Times reported.
No charges have been filed against the homeowner, but Chicago currently has a statute outlawing the possession of handguns. Its legality is currently being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A high-profile Chicago attorney has already stepped forward offering to represent the man pro bono if he faces charges for possessing a weapon.
"Self-defense isn't just a right, it's a duty," said attorney Joel Brodsky. "If this man is prosecuted for saving his own life it's not just a travesty, it's justice turned inside out."