Archive for May, 2005

May 31, 2005

Orlando, Florida

From the Orlando Sentinel of May 31, 2005

Widow uses gun, instincts to fend off burgler (sic)

Judith Kuntz, 64, hunkered down in her darkened bedroom late Sunday evening, arming herself with a revolver.

A burglar had just broken into her Indialantic home and, fearing for her life, she said she let her instincts take over.

When the burglar, who had a flashlight, entered the room, Kuntz fired one round from her .38-caliber handgun.

Hit squarely in the chest, the unidentified intruder ran outside, where he collapsed and died.

On Monday, Kuntz was still shaken, but she briefly recalled her ordeal.

“I’m doing fine under the circumstances,” she said. “I don’t take any joy in somebody being dead. My self-preservation instinct took over.”

She would not discuss the incident further.

“I don’t feel real safe,” said Kuntz, who has lived alone since her husband died nearly five years ago. “This has been a horrifying experience.”

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said she was justified in defending herself and will not face charges. The revolver was hers, inherited through her family, investigators said.

From May 31, 2005 Florida Today:

Jason Lewis Preston was having marital and financial trouble in Eaton Rapids, Mich., when he arrived in Indialantic last week to spend time with a cousin, according to police.

Now, Brevard County sheriff’s investigators want to know why the 33-year-old unemployed maintenance worker decided Sunday to burglarize the home of a 64-year-old widow.

The nighttime break-in ended with a startled Judith Kuntz pulling out her .38 caliber handgun and shooting Preston to death.

“He came down to stay with some family and said he was just going to make a little money, maybe do some odd jobs,” said Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Lou Heyn.

Heyn doesn’t yet have a clear motive for the burglary. Investigators said the shooting death appears justifiable.

Preston has a criminal record that includes assault and breaking and entering (see story at right).

More detail from May 31, 2005 WFTV.com:

INDIALANTIC, Fla. — A 64-year-old woman fatally shot an intruder who broke into her home.

Judith Kuntz was awakened by the sound of breaking glass late Sunday. She fired her revolver from about a distance of about 10 feet as the intruder entered her bedroom.

“I’m doing fine under the circumstances,” Kuntz said Monday. “I don’t take any joy in somebody being dead. My self-preservation instinct took over.”

The case was being treated as a lawful shooting, said Agent Lou Heyn of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

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May 30, 2005

Fort Myers, Florida

From the Fort Myers News-Press of May 30, 2005

Man takes shots at fleeing suspect

Customer charged with attempted shoplifting

A customer fired shots at a shoplifting suspect’s car on Sunday as he tried to flee a Publix in Fort Myers.

Donald Biggs, 69, of Fort Myers, who sometimes works in security, said he wasn’t aiming at the suspect.

He was worried that the suspect could have run over people as he fled, Biggs said.

“They were getting in his way, and he was trying to get away,” Donald Biggs, 69, of Fort Myers. He fired two shots at the tires.

Matthew Depalma, 38, allegedly tried to steal merchandise at about 5:30 p.m. at the store on 3255 Cleveland Ave.

The store manager confronted him as he tried to leave, and he dropped the merchandise, police said. The manager tried to detain him, but the suspect struggled with the manager and a security officer.

The confrontation continued into the parking lot as Depalma got into his vehicle. Biggs ran to his car and retrieved his gun. As Depalma tried to drive away, Biggs fired shots at the tires of the car, but didn’t stop the suspect from fleeing.

Depalma was taken into custody after witnesses provided a tag number and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office located his car at his home in Cape Coral.

Depalma was charged with attempted retail theft, three counts of resisting a merchant, and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and personal injury. He was held at the Lee County Jail.

Biggs said he has a license to carry a gun. He has not been charged.

May 28, 2005

San Diego, California

From the San Diego Union-Tribune of May 28, 2005

Pharmacy employee shoots, kills robber

Worker says he was threatened

An employee of a North Park pharmacy said he shot and killed a man who tried to rob the business and then threatened him with a weapon, police said.

The attempted robbery of the Fed RX Pharmacy on 30th Street at Lincoln Avenue was reported to police at 11:36 a.m., said San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney.

Patrol officers arrived at the scene six minutes later and found the body of David S. Robuck, 32, slumped inside the front door. Three hours later, the weapon that he had reportedly tried to grab just before the shooting was still tucked into his waistband, Rooney said.

Police later determined the weapon was a plastic replica revolver.

The intruder was wearing sunglasses, dark clothing and latex gloves, Rooney said. Before he was shot, he demanded prescription drugs and reached for the weapon in his waistband, Rooney said.

The employee told police he recognized the man as someone who had robbed the business of prescription drugs on April 11.

Rooney said he was not sure whether the victim had been involved in the April robbery.

You’ve got to love California–the robber is the “victim”.

May 27, 2005

Detroit, Michigan

From Detroit‘s ClickOnDetroit.com of May 27, 2005

Local Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder

Police Say No Charges Expected In Case

A local homeowner shot and killed an intruder who entered his home overnight, Local 4 reported.

The 70-year-old Detroit resident fired four shots at a man who apparently broke into the home on the 3200 block of Fullerton.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 4 a.m. on Friday, the station reported.

Neighbors said the homeowner had a right to protect himself against the suspected robber.

“That’s his house. He had to protect himself,” said Jay Miller, a neighbor.

Curly Humphry, an 86-year-old neighbor who lives on his own, said he also keeps guns in his home to protect himself, the station reported.

“I’ve got a .38 rifle (and) a shotgun,” Humphry said.

Police continue to investigate the shooting, but no charges are expected in the case.

May 27, 2005

Wichita Falls, Texas

From Wichita Falls’ KFDX.com of May 26, 2005

LIQUOR STORE ROBBERY

A Wichita Falls man is out of the hospital and now faces a charge after police say he was shot trying to rob a liquor store. 21 year old Ervin Flint is charged with robbery. Police say, about seven last night, Flint entered Mike`s Cut Rate Liquor on Kemp, and threatened the assistant manager with a bottle. Authorities say that`s when the worker chased Flint from the store and shot him with a 38 caliber pistol in the back of the leg. Police say the manager will not be charged.

May 26, 2005

Cloverdale, Georgia

From the Savannah Morning News of May 25, 2005

Shooting victim was harrassing ex-girlfriend

Carey Heyward was shot and killed after stalking the mother of his child, a police report says.

A 26-year-old woman called Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police twice Monday night and early Tuesday to complain about Heyward’s harassment, according to a police report.

She made the second call after her friend, Darryl Kent, shot and killed Heyward as he tried to break into the woman’s Cloverdale home.

When police arrived at 1434 Chevy Chase Road around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, they found Heyward, 35, lying in the backyard with a gunshot wound to the bottom of his face, the report says.

He was dead at the scene, emergency workers told police.

Heyward and the Cloverdale woman used to live together, but separated about three months ago. They had a 10-month-old daughter, the woman told police.

But according to the police report, the woman had previous problems with Heyward and had even taken out a restraining order against him prohibiting any further contact.

Heyward ignored the order this week when he showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s home.

The first time, he rang the door bell and yelled for the woman to answer the door. After she refused, he broke a front window and tried to climb in, the report says.

The woman called police.

Heyward finally left when he saw Kent inside the home, according to the report.

Kent, who was over to watch television, decided to stay the night in case Heyward returned, the woman told police.
And that’s what happened.

Around 3 a.m., the couple awoke to tapping on the window and the sound of Heyward calling the woman’s name, the report says.

She shouted for him to go away and said she was calling police.

As she was about to dial 911, she heard glass break and then a gunshot, the report says.

Then she ran outside and called 911. No one inside the house was hurt, police said.

Police arrived to find Heyward dead. A .380-caliber semi-automatic weapon lay on the sofa, next to the front door, according to the report.

Police declined to say if Heyward had a weapon.

Police questioned Kent, 38, and released him without charges, police spokesman Bucky Burnsed said.

The police interview will be forwarded to the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office and may be presented to the grand jury, police said.

Georgia law says a person can threaten or use force against another to defend himself against force that is likely to cause death or great injury, or when it is to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Georgia corrections department records show that Heyward has been in and out of jail since 1989 on various charges, including aggravated assault, possession of cocaine and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

May 24, 2005

Greenbrier, Tennessee

From Nashville’s WSMV.com of May 23, 2005

Clerks shoots suspected robber

Greenbrier police are investigating a robbery that led to a shooting at a gun store on Monday. Authorities say a man walked into an indoor gun range and store on Highway 41 and stole several guns.

“He came in and he was threatening to the employee and did try to take several weapons and he tried to leave with them,” say police.

The suspect, Courtney Hall II, walked into “Guns and Leather Indoor Gun Range” pretending to be a customer and stole several weapons. But when he kept returning, the clerk knew something wasn’t right.

When the employee saw Hall make a run to the door of the business, he noticed the suspect was trying to take more weapons from the store.

The clerk shot Hall twice in the lower waist and shoulder. He was taken by Life Flight to Vanderbilt Medical Hospital in critical condition.

The owner of the business says his worker feared for his life since Hall had several weapons in his waistband and he did not wan (sic) to take any chances.

May 19, 2005

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

From ChannelOklahoma.com of May 18, 2005

Alleged Intruder Shot By Homeowner

Suspect In Serious Condition; Police Say Case Still Under Investigation

An intruder got more than he bargained for Tuesday night when he allegedly tried to break into a home in northwest Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City police said a woman shot Ervin Donaldson twice in the chest while he tried to break into her home at 1221 N. Woodward St. near Northwest 12th Street and Grand Avenue. Officers said Donaldson knocked on the back door of the house just after 10:30 p.m Tuesday, asked to use the phone, then tried to force his way into the home.

A man who also lives in the house apparently confronted Donaldson and started fighting him. Lt. Don Holland said that’s when the man’s wife pulled out the gun and opened fire.

“The information we got … he came to the back door, knocked on the door, (then the) homeowner came to the back door, (and) an altercation occurred at the back door,” Holland said.

Donaldson was in serious condition Wednesday at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Police said the man who confronted him was also shot once in the hand, but added that his injuries aren’t considered serious.

Police were continuing their investigation Wednesday evening. Officers said it would be up to the district attorney to decide whether the shooting was justified.

According to state prison records, Donaldson spent time in prison for seven burglaries committed over two days in 1997. He also served time on drug and trespassing charges in 1996.

May 18, 2005

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of May 17, 2005

Intruder shot at North Side food bank

A food bank supervisor on the North Side shot and wounded an intruder who apparently brandished a screwdriver when confronted in the freezer area.

Kenneth Mathews, 45, of Sedgwick Street in Manchester was arraigned at Allegheny General Hospital on charges of burglary, robbery, possession of instruments of crime and fictitious reports to law enforcement.

Police said Mathews lied to police by telling an officer he was shot during a drive-by.

In fact, police said, Mathews had broken into the Love Food Bank, a subsidiary of Bethel Assembly of Pittsburgh, in the 2400 block of California Avenue.

In an affidavit, police said William Zapf encountered Mathews about 10 p.m. Mathews was armed with the screwdriver he had used to break into the food bank. Mathews shoved Zapf “nearly to the ground,” police said.

“Zapf was in fear for his safety. Zapf shot Mathews in apparent self-defense,” the affidavit said.
Police said Mathews was shot in the calf.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Rev. Gregory Hammond of the Bethel Assembly of God church said Zapf was a hunter and sportsman and carried a registered handgun.

May 17, 2005

Caldwell, Idaho

From the May 17, 2005 [Boise] Idaho Statesman:

CALDWELL — Retired mechanic Warren Harlow was asleep at 9:30 p.m. Sunday when his wife woke him because she heard a racket in the basement of their Denver Street home.

Harlow, 77, grabbed his antique .22 pistol and headed downstairs to find an intruder halfway in a sink below a broken out window.

Harlow told the man to leave but the man came at him, police said.

“I batted him on the head with the pistol. That didn’t get no attention. He turned on me. I put a bullet in the cement wall,” Harlow said.

The man ran to the furnace room, turned and the two men struggled again, Harlow said.

“I told him I was going to shoot him if he didn’t stop,” Harlow said. “I protected my family and I protected myself.”

Caldwell police officers arrived about that time to take the man into custody.