Residents of the Peach State believe in Southern hospitality and charm, but that doesn’t mean they’re unprepared when events take a turn for the worse. These armed Georgians defended selves, homes and families by judicious use of firearms. Our stories range from the big-city bustle of Atlanta to the smaller communities nestled in the pines.
Police responded to a report of a burglary in progress around 11 p.m. A 56-year-old woman and her 15-year-old son were at home when two armed men broke in through the front door and demanded money. During the robbery, the son was shot in the leg by one of the offenders and the mother was shot in the arm when she attempted to flee. When the woman’s husband, who was in a different part of the home, heard the gunshots, he retrieved a firearm and walked in on the robbery in progress. He fired several shots, striking both offenders, and the two fled the scene on foot. Warrants were issued for their arrest, and they face charges on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of burglary. Both mother and son were treated for their injuries and are reportedly expected to recover. (The Valdosta Daily Times, Valdosta, Ga., 6/18/14)
Four armed intruders began to kick down the door of a two-story apartment, so the three inhabitants locked themselves in an upstairs bedroom and exited onto the balcony where they had no escape. One of the occupants grabbed a rifle kept in the bedroom. One of the home invaders, dressed in camouflage with a black cloth covering his face, managed to kick open the bedroom door. The occupant raised the rifle and shot one round at the intruder, causing the home invaders to flee. Derrick Timmons, 20, was pronounced dead when his body was found later. The other offenders are still being sought by police. (The Courier Herald, Dublin, Ga., 3/15/12)
Was the suspect lying in wait as his would-be victim came home from work? That’s what police are asking after Leontaye Johnson returned from his shift as a cook and was ambushed. What police do know is the suspect illegally carried a gun, announced a robbery and fired a shot at Johnson, injuring him. That’s when Johnson drew his gun, fired several shots and killed the suspect. (NBC11-TV, Atlanta, Ga., 8/15/11)
A woman in her early 50s was getting out of the shower when the bathroom lights suddenly went out. An intruder collided into her in the dark, causing her to fall backward into the shower and injure her back. She fought the man, but he put a knife to her throat. “She was telling him that she has money and please don’t hurt her,” said Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter, adding that the attack was an attempted sexual assault. The intruder forced the woman into her bedroom, but that’s exactly where she kept her .22-caliber pistol. She broke free, retrieved the gun and shot her would-be rapist several times. He ran outside, collapsed and died. “Thank God she’s OK and she had a weapon to protect herself with,” said a neighbor. “She’s a nice lady, just a sweet lady.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 5/12/11)
Housing manager Dihanna McCullock said she is a fighter, and police said she proved it one morning when a man broke a window, entered her office and tried to stab her with a butcher knife. A second assailant, who carried a gun and wore some sort of badge on his shirt, also entered the office and fired a shot, grazing McCullock’s right arm. That’s when she drew the Taurus Judge revolver she carries daily and unloaded on the second suspect with a .410 shotshell. The robbers fled, dropping McCullock’s wallet and the knife in their haste. “Wherever he’s at he’s wounded, somewhere,” McCullock predicted. “My husband taught me well.” (WALB-10, Albany, Ga., 1/6/11)