79-year-old man fatally shoots intruder (VIDEO)

WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Two men broke into a Center Point, Alabama, home early Wednesday morning, but only one made it out alive after coming face to face with the homeowner, a 79-year-old man armed with a .38 revolver.

John Croft said he was asleep just after 1 a.m. when he heard a noise that he soon discovered was two men breaking into his three-bedroom home.

Croft said he thinks the intruders checked the other two bedrooms first before one made his way to the room where Croft had been sleeping.

“He came over there and said, ‘Don’t move!’”, Croft recalled. “He heard the bed squeak. I was getting my gun. He said, ‘Don’t move’ and he used the ‘N’ word and I shot.”

Croft struck one of the intruders, while the second ran outside where a third person was waiting in a getaway car. Croft later realized one of the intruders returned fire and shot him in the ankle. The injury was not considered life-threatening. The suspect Croft shot, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Croft said he has lived in his house for more than 20 years and never had a problem until last summer. Since then, his house has been broken into 13 times. Croft said the shooting was bound to happen with the number of break-ins, but he still has mixed emotions over the incident.

“I hate that boy dead,” he said, “but I don’t hate I shot him.”

Mostly, Croft indicated, he felt bad for the boy’s mother, noting he was just a teen and “there’s nothing more precious to a mom as a son.” But Croft also said he had no choice.

Authorities are still working to identify and locate the remaining two suspects. No charges are expected to be filed against Croft.

[ WBRC ]