Thursday, December 11, 2008

Alabama: Men shot in break-in attempt

Nitrate City, Alabama

From the Times Daily of December 4, 2008
Men shot in break-in attempt

A Colbert County homeowner shot two men who reportedly were trying to break into his house early Wednesday, leaving both hospitalized recovering from multiple gunshot wounds, authorities said.

Three Florence men face charges over the break-in bid, Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said.

Charged with second-degree burglary were:

# Justin Peake, 22, 330 Reddoch Road, Florence.

# Holland Noah Elkins, 19, Darby Drive, Florence.

# Jason Douglas Reynolds, 18, 127 Patsy Drive, Florence.

Peake, a student at the University of North Alabama and 2006 member of the golf team, and Elkins were both injured, May said. Peake was in critical condition at Huntsville Hospital on Wednesday night, while Elkins had surgery and was transferred to a private room at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence and was in stable condition.

Authorities said the homeowner reported that the men were trying to kick in the back door at his home at 6720 Second St. The break-in occurred around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Investigators say Reynolds, a student at UNA, was the driver of the getaway car. He was not injured.

Investigators said the homeowner shot Peake and Elkins multiple times with a 9 mm pistol after they kicked in the back door of the residence, which is just past East Colbert Baptist Church. The sheriff said neither Peake nor Elkins were armed.

Peake, who was found lying in the yard, was flown to Huntsville Hospital, where he remains in the intensive care unit.

After being shot, Elkins was taken to E.C.M. Hospital by Reynolds, who was driving Peake's silver Mercedes.

May said Peake's Mercedes was found by Florence police on Reddock Road in Florence, which is in the affluent Heathrow subdivision.

"We were able to locate the driver (Reynolds), and he was interviewed by investigators and admitted that he took (Peake and Elkins) to the residence to burglarize the residence," May said.

He said it's unclear what the burglars were after or why they chose the eastern Colbert County residence.

"We understand that one of their friends may have told them that something of value was inside the residence and that they would want to get their hands on it," May said.

He said the burglary plan was sidetracked when the men were confronted by the homeowner as they kicked in the door.

"We got a call at 12:38 a.m. from the homeowner that two people had broke through the back door and he had shot one or both of them," the sheriff said.

Authorities said Peake was likely shot seven or eight times, while Elkins was shot at least twice.

May said the homeowner turned over the weapon to sheriff's investigators.

The homeowner said he lived alone and moved into the house just over two years ago.

May said the homeowner reported an attempted burglary that took place at the residence Monday night.

"He said someone had been calling his house (Monday) and hanging up, and the telephone numbers were some he didn't recognize," May said. "Then when he got home from work Monday evening, someone had tried to get into the back door of his porch."

The sheriff said the homeowner told investigators the hang-up calls began again Tuesday.

"And they lasted into the night," May said. "So (the homeowner) said he got suspicious and cut out all the lights and was just sitting and waiting when they broke through the door."

It is the second home invasion reported in the Shoals this week and the third in Colbert County within a week.

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