Dad fires gun at intruder

From the Fort Mill Times
By Toya Graham
(Published August 25, 2009)


A father and his son were watching TV together when someone shattered their glass sliding door.

That’s when the Fort Mill dad put his toddler-age son in a closet, retrieved a gun and confronted a man. Then the inevitable happened.

 “The homeowner fired his weapon,” Capt. Bryan Zachary of the Fort Mill Police Department said.

 No one was hurt during that shooting, Zachary said.

 The incident, which occurred last Wednesday night, shook the Sugar Creek Crossing homeowner.

 “It was one of the worse things I’ve ever done in my life,” the 24-year-old homeowner said of the shooting when he was reached the next day. “I never hope to be put in that situation again.”

 The Fort Mill Times does not identify crime victims unless they request it.

 Father, son time interrupted Around 8 p.m. Aug. 18, the homeowner and his son, who is less than 2 years old, were watching TV in a bedroom.


 “The homeowner heard a crash,” Zachary said. “He dialed 911, placed the child in the bedroom closet and retrieved his weapon.”

 Then the homeowner made his way to his living room, where he came face-to-face with an intruder, who allegedly broke out one of two glass sliding doors, the homeowner and Zachary said.

 The homeowner told police that the intruder was moving from the kitchen to the living room area, according to a report from the Fort Mill Police Department.

 “The only thing that was going through my mind was my son’s safety,” the homeowner said. “He’s my first and only.”

 So, the homeowner issued a warning that he was armed, Zachary said.

 The report notes that the homeowner yelled to the suspect that he had a gun. It also notes the homeowner told the suspect to leave while pointing the gun at him.

 “He gave him (the intruder) fair warning to leave,” Zachary said.

 But the intruder did not leave.

 “The suspect turned and took a couple steps toward the homeowner,” Zachary said.

 According to the report, the homeowner noticed “something black in color in the suspect’s hand.” The report does not identify that object.

 “The suspect had some object in his hand, and the homeowner perceived it to be a weapon and felt threatened,” Zachary said.

 “The weapon was fired and (the bullet) struck an area of the wall near where the suspect was standing,” Zachary added.

 Authorities did not reveal what type of weapon the homeowner used or how many times he fired it, citing the ongoing investigation. However, a police report notes that the man “retrieved his pistol.” That weapon also is identified as a gun in the same report.

 The suspect fled the house and ran into a nearby wooded area bordering the homeowner’s residence. That area was later probed by a police dog and its handler.

 “They tracked back into the wooded area for a considerable distance,” Zachary said.

 Authorities were not able to find a suspect. If caught and convicted, the man faces a first degree burglary charge that carries a 15-year to life jail sentence, Zachary said.

 The burglary, Zachary noted, was not the norm.

 “Obviously, it shows desperation on the part of the suspect in that this is a time of the day when people are home from work and settling in for the evening,” Zachary said. “The 911 call came in at 8:18. It was not dark outside. That’s kind of an unusual time for someone to make that type of attempt. There were neighbors home at that time.”

 And at one home along Sugar Creek Crossing, an unsuspecting father took a stand to protect his home and son from an intruder.

 “My main thought was not to let him get past me,” the homeowner said. “I was raised to take care of myself. I took the measure to do that.”

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call the Fort Mill Police Department at 547-2022 or Crime Stoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.

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