Brunswick, Georgia

From Jacksonville’s (FL) Fox30Online.com of September 3, 2007

Residents Shoot Home Invaders in Brunswick

Brunswick police are investigating a deadly home invasion. In this case, however, police say the intended targets fought back and shot the suspects.

One man is dead and another seriously injured.

Brunswick police received a 9-1-1 call about a home invasion, just after 1:30 Monday morning. When officers arrived at the house on Wolfe Street, they found an 18 year old sitting on the porch, with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Another man had been shot inside the house. He died at a local hospital. The man who was shot in the stomach will be facing criminal charges, according to police.

Police say the two men who were shot broke into the home and tried to rob the residents at gunpoint.

From the Brunswick News of September 4, 2007

Robbery target won’t be victim, kills intruder

When two armed men allegedly attempted to rob a house full of young adults in Brunswick early Monday morning, their victims fought back.

A man visiting the house at 601 Wolfe St. in the city’s south end pulled a handgun from the front of his pants and shot the two would-be robbers, killing one of them and wounding the other, police said.

Police did not release the names of the two suspects. No charges had been filed Monday.

The renters of the house, Leah Whitman, 18, Robert Herd, 20, and Josh Stout, 20, had been living there almost three months and had spent all day Sunday moving out their furniture and personal things, Whitman said.

That evening, the three planned to hang out on the front porch one last time with friends and enjoy the Labor Day weekend.

At about 1:30 a.m. Monday, the three, accompanied by two other friends, were sitting on the porch of the two-story, yellow house when the two would-be robbers jumped onto the porch and pulled out a gun.

Whitman said they had been watching the two suspects canvass the neighborhood before the attack.

“They walked up and down the block a couple of times,” she said. “We honestly didn’t have any idea they were going (to rob) us, though.”

Whitman said the two armed men walked her and the others, most of whom were in their early 20s, to the back of the house adjacent to the kitchen.

“They made us take off our shoes and empty our pockets, and stole all of our cell phones,” Whitman said. “When they couldn’t find cash, they began stealing our change and counting it right there in front of us.”

She said the two then demanded car keys.

“They kept joking with us the whole time, telling us they had just smoked crack and that we are poor kids,” Whitman said. “One of the robbers said that (his accomplice) had just gotten out of prison, and not to mind him because it was his first time robbing anybody.”

At one point, one of the robbers went outside and returned carrying a shotgun, Whitman said.

Whitman said no one knows where the shotgun came from, but believe the robbers might have taken it out of a vehicle belonging to one of her friends.

“One of the robbers who took my car keys even went into the front console of my car and stole all the pennies I had laying there,” Stout said.

Every time a new visitor showed up at the house, they were greeted by the robbers, frisked for money and taken to the back room.

The two men became aggravated when more people kept showing up, Whitman said.

About that time, Hector, a friend of the Wolfe Street renters, whose last name they would not reveal, happened to show up at the house.

Hector had never been to the house before and none of the other guests had any idea he was going to drop by for a visit, they said.

“When Hector showed up, (the robbers) walked him to the back room, too,” Whitman said.

She said the two made Hector empty out his pockets and take off his shoes just like everybody else. What the two didn’t realize was that Hector had a .45 caliber pistol tucked in the front of his jeans.

One of the attackers was in the kitchen area and the other in the front hallway when Hector began shooting.
It played out just like a scene from a movie, Whitman said.

“When the robber tried to rob (Hector), he emptied his pockets, then said, ‘I don’t know who you think you’re robbing,'” she said Monday afternoon. “That’s when he pulled out his gun and began shooting them.”

Hector allegedly fired two shots at the suspect in the kitchen and three at the suspect in the hallway.

“He took both of them out before either had a chance to shoot back,” Herd said. “It all happened so fast … It’s a blur.”

The suspect in the kitchen was shot in the abdomen; the one in the hallway was fatally shot in the right side.

“After Hector shot (the robbers), we all crawled out the windows of the house, and (Hector) stayed inside to make sure we got out safe,” Whitman said.

The suspect who was fatally shot tried to run up the stairs after he was wounded and died at the top of the staircase, said witnesses at the home on Monday.

The other suspect managed to walk out to the front porch, where he was found by city police and rushed to the emergency room of the Brunswick hospital of Southeast Georgia Health System.

Whitman, thinking back on the incident Monday afternoon, said she feels lucky to be alive.

She said neither of the suspects wore bandanas or masks to cover their faces.

“They were completely unmasked and I think they would have shot us because they wouldn’t have wanted to leave any witnesses,” she said. “(Hector) really saved our lives.”

Everett Clark, who lives across from the house on Wolfe Street, said he hopes the shooting is a warning to any would-be robbers in Brunswick.

“Maybe this will send a message that we’re sick of all these robberies and violence, and we’re not going to take it anymore,” he said.

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