TN - A Fayette County homeowner shot and killed an intruderby Armed Homeowner defends Family
FAYETTE COUNTY, TN - A Fayette County homeowner shot and killed an intruder early Monday morning. Investigators with the Fayette County Sheriff's Department say the dead man is the homeowner's neighbor.
The shooting happened around 1:00 a.m. in the 400-block of Bellgrove Road off Highway 64 just outside Oakland city limits.
The homeowner, 63 year-old Willie Woods, says he woke up to the sounds of his wife and daughter frantically yelling for him. A man, they told him, was on their front porch trying to break in through the picture window.
"I ordered him not to come in the house," says Woods, "and he was standing there on the porch screaming something, I don't know what it was. And I kept telling him not to come in."
Woods says his porch light wasn't on and it was hard to see. But he could tell the guy had something hard in his hand and he kept hitting the window with it. Woods says he learned later that the intruder was using a rake to pound on the glass.
"I went back and got my gun and came back into the room," says Woods, "and he broke at me. He asked me what I was going to do and he broke at me, right through the window. He walked right through the window and so I shot. I fired about three shots."
Investigators say the intruder was hit in the head and died at the scene.
Delois Harris says the man on the porch was her cousin, 32 year-old Anthony Webb. Family members describe him as "slow" but say he would never harm anyone.
Webb and Willie Woods have been neighbors for years. In fact, Woods went to school with Anthony Webb's father.
"They stay right there, baby," Harris says pointing to Webb's house about 150 yards from Woods' home. "He lived right there. He knew that was Anthony. He knew that. Everybody knows Anthony around here. Anthony does not bother anybody. Never has."
Woods says he didn't realize it was Anthony coming at him. His only thought was to protect himself and his loved ones.
"He broke through my window," says Woods. "I never fired a shot until he got on the inside of the building and lunged at me with some object in his hand. That's when I fired."
"He should have called Anthony's father," says Harris, "and asked him to come and get him. He had no right to do what he did."
The case is still under investigation but District Attorney Mike Dunavant says it appears to be a "justified" shooting, meaning Mr. Woods won't face any charges.
Woods feels bad for Webb's family but insists he had no choice but to fire his .38 revolver.
"If I hadn't been there," he says, "I don't what he would have done to my family."
Neighbors told Woods that Anthony Webb had stopped by another house, a rental that Woods owns nearby, shortly before the shooting. The men who live inside the home said Webb kept asking for a cigarette before they told him to go.
The DA's office is expected to issue a final report on the deadly home invasion on Tuesday, June 2, 2009.
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