Local News

Shooting victim was determined not to give up

Posted October 19, 2009 3:47 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2009 6:36 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville man said he was determined not to give up as his attacker pointed a pistol at him.

Kevin Pirtle, 41, was at his Ponderosa Drive home caring for his grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, on Friday when a man broke in, police said.

“He was like, ‘Back up, back up,’” Pirtle said on Monday.

Pirtle said he tried to talk with the gunman, but it didn't work.

“He wanted the money – the box and the money. I told him there was no money box,” Pirtle said.

That made the intruder angrier, as did Pirtle's saying ‘no’ to his commands to get down on his knees.

“I kept seeing my kids in my mind. I just turned 41. I’m too young to be buried,” Pirtle said.

Pirtle even tried to grab the gun.

“He wasn’t just going to kill me. He had a fight on his hands,” Pirtle said.

While the two struggled with the gun, Pirtle’s 84-year-old grandmother sat on the sofa.

“It was like the Lord took her soul because she sat right there…and didn’t say a word,” Pirtle said.

During the struggle Pirtle was shot in his leg. As he tried to run away, Pirtle said, the gunman shot him in the back.

Pirtle continued to run, shattering a back window to get out of the house and seek help.

About half a block away, Darlene Horn found Pirtle in her back yard.

"We opened up the back door and went out in the back yard to feed the fish. There was a guy in our back yard screaming that he'd been shot ... and to call 911," she said.

Police searched the neighborhood for the shooter, whom Pirtle told police was a black man with a slender build and dreadlocks.

A short time later, three men were arrested for breaking and entering in the area, but police Monday did not make a link between that case and the home invasion.

Pirtle was released from the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Friday evening, but said he is living with fear.

“I have a fear that the job wasn’t done,” he said.

Pirtle said he is sure the gunman would have killed him, if he had the chance. "He would have put four more rounds in me – no doubt about it," he said.

Pirtle's grandmother was not hurt.