From the Patriot News of May 31, 2008
Armed homeowner foils invasion
Eugene Johnson reacted in a flash when his wife heard someone kick in the back door of their Carlisle home at 2:30 a.m. Friday.
Johnson, 75, a retired Army sergeant first class who fought in the Korean War, grabbed his pistol. He was ready when a silhouette of a man appeared in the darkened doorway of his bedroom.
"He said, 'Don't move, I have a gun,'" Johnson recalled. "I said, 'Buddy, I've got a gun, too, and it's [aimed] right on you.
"Things got quiet then," he said.
They got quiet because the would-be home invader had high-tailed it out of there, police said.
Johnson would have been legally justified in pulling the trigger, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said.
"The homeowner acted appropriately," Freed said. "Criminals who break into occupied homes assume the risk of being shot by the homeowners."
Johnson, a 20-year Army veteran who spent nearly three years as a prisoner of war in North Korea, said Friday's incident occurred two weeks after another burglary at his home in the 1200 block of North West Street.
He and his wife, Bernadine, 71, were away during the May 16 break-in. "They trashed the place and stole money," Johnson said.
The back door that was damaged in the earlier burglary had not yet been repaired when the invader or invaders kicked it in Friday. Once inside, the culprit or culprits turned off the home's electricity, he said.
"My wife heard the back door being smashed. All at once the lights went out, and she told me, 'Get your gun,'" Johnson said.
He said he isn't sure how many people were involved in the break-in, but he saw only one man and heard one male voice.
Lt. Michael Dzezinski said police don't know if the May 16 burglary and Friday's home invasion are connected.
The man who threatened the Johnsons might have been trying to detain them while accomplices rifled through the house, he said.
Police don't have a description of the burglar who confronted the couple, and no suspects were found during a search of the area immediately after the invasion, Dzezinski said.