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Man found dead near Lillington home invasion site

Posted October 12, 2011

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— A man was found dead Wednesday near the site of a home invasion in Lillington.

Two masked men armed with a pellet gun barged into a mobile home at 7288 N.C. Highway 27 West on Tuesday night. Melissa Ratliff's cousin was among the five or six people inside the home during the robbery. At one point, Ratliff said one of the robbers held a knife to her aunt. 

"They had a gun and a knife," Ratliff said. "My cousin retaliated, trying to defend himself."

As the robbers were leaving the scene, Ratliff said, her cousin shot at them. She said her cousin thought he might have hit one of the men but wasn't sure.

Ratliff and other family members said the robbers knew her cousin and had come by the home earlier Tuesday and not wearing masks. 

Harnett County deputies confirmed that they responded to a home invasion at the residence on Tuesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, they were back at the scene after someone found a man's body in a wooded area near the home.

Investigators have not said if they believe the man was one of the robbers, but Ratliff is convinced it is. 

"I hate that it happened, but you've got to defend yourself. That's how I feel about it," she said.

Man found dead after Lillington home invasion Man found dead after Lillington home invasion

A woman, who said she feared the body belonged to her son, wept near the scene on Wednesday. She declined to be interviewed.

The body, which has not been positively identified, was sent to the medical examiner for an autopsy.

25 Comments

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 18, 2011

    Would it have been ok for this guy to go to this kid's house later and shoot him? I mean, the kid was a criminal...and you guys like to shoot criminals.

    Why is that any different than shooting at people in your yard as they are running away?

  • superman Oct 14, 2011

    The guy got exactly what he deserved. Maybe now he has learned his lesson. If someone breaks into my house, I plan to shoot them in the front, back or if they runninig. They better learn to run fast and dodge the bullets.

  • Bob3425 Oct 14, 2011

    martin9939 Hey bleeding heart, too bad a criminal is dead. They save the taxpayer money.

  • martin9939 Oct 14, 2011

    I hope that this person is charged with murder because that is exactly what he did. I know that what they attempted to do as you said they did was wrong and so was you. If someone is running away from you, that doesn't give you the right to shoot them while fleeing from your home. I hope that there's a very good DA on this case and you are convicted for murder. Defending yourself from an 18 yr old with a bb gun. Lol!

  • martin9939 Oct 14, 2011

    I can't believe that these people knew that this 18 yr old had a bb gun attempting to rob them andshot him from behind while he was running from their home. Also he didn't tell the police that he think that he shot one of them. He never checked that night even after stating that he may have gotten one of them. You left this child out there all night to die. You could have told the police and an ambulance could have been called. Maybe Chris would still be alive. That's murder and you know it! You should have pressed charges on them for attempting to rob you instead of shooting him after he ran from your home.

  • chevybelair57sd Oct 14, 2011

    Putting aside all the remarks from the yuppie society, anyone terrorizing a home needs swift justice and a knowledgable gun owner is a great cure even tho a scarey one.

  • crustyhalo Oct 13, 2011

    And the peanut gallery has spoken......clap clap clap.......

  • storchheim Oct 13, 2011

    Look, apparently the robbers had been to the house earlier in the same day. They were known by the victims. They came back armed and held a knife to someone's throat. Sounds overall like the dregs of society on all sides, to be honest - but why would the victims sit around and wait for a third return?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 13, 2011

    Good point, RebelYell55. It sounds like the robbers were already in the yard and leaving when the owner shot at them. Even though these were bad guys (with their BB gun), there has to be some point where it's excessive force by the victim...like if the victim started running after the getaway car and shot & killed them both. Or, if the victim knew it was a BB gun...maybe? Lots of shades of gray here...

  • golden1 Oct 13, 2011

    There is soooo much more to this story than what is being reported.....which is why the police are being tight lipped about it.

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