Man Shoots Would-Be Intruder As He Flees Scene
Posted September 20, 2006
Updated November 10, 2007
SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Is it self-defense to shoot a potential intruder who's running away? That's a question investigators are trying to answer in Johnston County, where a man shot a 19-year-old who allegedly tried to rob his home.
When 62-year-old Randle Holmes heard the lock on his side door pop, he said he had every right to shoot the potential intruder. He said he was protecting himself and his wife, Patsy, who is disabled after suffering two strokes.
"Anybody come to your door at 2:30 in the morning to break in, he'll kill you," said Holmes.
Derrick Barnes, 19, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the arm. He is also in jail charged with burglary. The question for investigators is whether Holmes will face charges also.
According to Holmes, he fired four shots at the teen's car as it was driving away from the scene.
"It was just trying to stop the car," said Holmes.
District Attorney Tom Lock isn't sure yet if Holmes will be protected by the law.
"A homeowner may use deadly force to repel someone who is trying to break into their home," said Lock.
Investigators are still gathering information such as ballistics evidence and markings from the door. Plus, they're trying to figure out where and when events unfolded in the yard.
The whole dilemma also a tough call for friends of Barnes. Effie Blake's daughter was driving the car that was shot. She said she's glad her daughter is safe, but will reserve judgment until she gets more details.
Holmes said he's prepared to face charges. But he also said he has no regrets.
"If they've got to charge me, I'll fight it," said Holmes. "I'm not sorry. I'd do it again."
Holmes could face charges of felonious assault or shooting a gun into an occupied vehicle. Lock said he might ask the grand jury to decide on charges next month.