Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tennessee: 69-Year-Old Shoots Home Intruder

Nashville, Tennessee

From News Channel 15 of November 24, 2008
69-Year-Old Shoots Home Intruder

Metro police said the victim of a home invasion turned the tides on his intruder.

Rather than running, the homeowner shot the burglar.

John Lewis is sick and tired of being the victim. He said burglars have broken into his home four times this year.

Lewis said it was about time the suspect got the raw end of the deal.

"You got to be able to protect yourself," he said.

To a thief, Lewis may look like an easy target. On Sunday, the 69-year-old Air Force veteran shot a hole through that reputation.

"I mean I'm not going to sit here and let somebody rob me over and over and over again," he said.

Around 10:30 p.m., he heard a crash.

"So he started kicking on the door. He made more noise than anybody I've ever dreamed of trying to break into a house," he said.

What he saw was a man holding a flashlight and a pickax.

Lewis was packing a 357 pistol.

"And the pistol went off. I had it cocked. It had a hair trigger and I touched it and it went off," he said.

The bullet hit suspect Jerry Watson in the leg.

Police said Watson, who has a lengthy criminal history, limped to the home next door and lost consciousness.

"What's there to think about? I mean he was going to hurt me or I was going to hurt him. One of the two," he said.

And rather than getting angry, neighbors are celebrating the story.

"I think it's wonderful. Yeah rah for Mr. Lewis. Yeah Rah! You got my vote. Maybe they'll stay away now," said Sarah Pannell.

As the suspect recovers at a local hospital, John wonders if the intruder learned his lesson.

"I don't know. Maybe he did with me. I hope so. Like I said if he didn't I'll teach him again," he said.

No matter the outcome, this pistol packing homeowner has no regrets.

This is the second time Lewis has shot an intruder. He said the first incident was 11 or 12 years ago.

During that break-in he came home and found a man inside his house. Lewis shot the intruder.

That suspect also lived and was later arrested.

Police said Watson has 26 criminal convictions ranging from burglary to drug offenses.

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