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The Armed Citizen® | Alabama

The Armed Citizen® | Alabama

“Sweet Home Alabama” might be just a favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd song for many, but it’s also a place well worth defending for many Alabama residents. Following are 12 times Alabama residents successfully used firearms to defend themselves and others.

Al Taylor was at home with his family in West Mobile, Ala., when he heard a suspicious noise in the garage. Taylor went to investigate and discovered a man attempting to steal lawn equipment. Taylor responded by retrieving a .22-caliber revolver and holding the man at gunpoint until police could arrive. A local news story made clear that Taylor uses his lawn equipment to help people through his ministry. In recalling the incident to a local news outlet, Taylor said, “I probably would have let him go if he didn’t just stop lying and then when I saw all my stuff pulled out and he was going to steal it, it kind of made me angry.” (WKRG, Mobile, Ala., 5/3/2016)

The owner of a mechanic shop in Birmingham, Ala., was sleeping at his business after repeated burglary attempts when a pair of criminals jumped a fence and came onto the property. The owner retrieved a gun, shot one intruder, slapped the other, causing both to flee. The wounded burglar was captured while seeking medical treatment at a local hospital. (Alabama.com, Birmingham, Ala., 12/2/2014) 

A married couple was returning to their home in Selmont, Ala., when they happened upon a pair of burglars. Upon being discovered, one of the burglars attacked the husband. The husband responded by drawing a pistol and shooting the attacker, killing him and causing his accomplice to flee. Following the incident, Sgt. Mike Grantham of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department noted, “At this point, everything that we have found, everything the investigation has turned up, tells us this was a justified shooting.” (The Selma Times-Journal, Selma, Ala., 10/29/2013) 

A 63-year-old woman suffering from congestive heart failure and arthritis was asleep at home in Bessemer, Ala., when an armed intruder came into her bedroom. The home invader demanded that the woman hand over money and jewelry, and when she didn’t comply, he drew a keyhole saw and cut her on her stomach and arm. Eventually, one of the woman’s seven dogs alerted a guest staying at the home to the commotion. The guest distracted the criminal long enough for the woman to retrieve a .44-caliber revolver and shoot the criminal, who fled the scene. Police captured the home invader a short time later after he sought treatment at a local hospital. Following the shooting, the woman told local media, “I have a family to protect and that’s what I did. I protected me and mine.” The armed citizen also noted that she has been a gun owner for more than 30 years and that “women are better with guns.” (The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Ala., 10/30/2012)

Just as Eddie Richardson was parking in front of his home in Mobile, Ala., at around 4 a.m., a pair of armed criminals approached him and ordered him to “give it up.” Richardson responded by retrieving a gun and firing at the criminals, who returned fire. One robber was struck during the exchange before both fled on foot. Richardson was not harmed during the incident. When interviewed by local media, Richardson stated that he was just a working man, and “They was trying to rob me, and I didn’t go for that.” (WALA, Mobile, Ala., 1/31/2012)

A burglar in in Pintlala, Ala., had an unlucky night when he ran into not one, but two, armed citizens. First, when Tim McCullough arrived at his home, he noticed that the house had been broken into. As the burglar came out of the house and attempted to flee in a truck, McCullough retrieved a gun, shot out one of the truck’s tires and took the vehicle’s keys from the criminal. The criminal then fled on foot and broke into the home of Natalie Norris. Norris awoke to the noise of the intruder, retrieved a pistol and confronted the intruder, telling him to get out of her house. Having met a second armed citizen, the intruder fled once more, but was captured by police a few hours later. Julius Norris, Natalie’s father, encouraged his daughter to provide for her own self-defense, telling local media, “I’ve always instructed her that if we’re not here and she’s by herself to take my pistol to her bedroom with her.” (WSFA, Montgomery, Ala., 5/30/2011) 

By now, would-be looters should be well aware of the adage “you loot, we shoot,” popularized during the periods of unrest following hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. In the wake of the violent storms that have been ravaging the South, the owner of Fuel City in Huntsville, Ala., armed himself with a gun and decided to monitor the business overnight. Around 2 a.m., the owner discovered a looter trying to break into the business. The owner shot the criminal, killing him. (WAFF, Huntsville, Ala., 4/29/2011) 

After having a cigarette, Chris McCrary was re-entering his apartment in Huntsville, Ala., when a masked intruder entered the home. After a physical altercation, McCrary was able to retrieve a shotgun and fired at the criminal, causing him to flee. Later McCrary described his feelings towards the intruder, stating, “That’s all I was feeling then was just anger and rage … Like you’re not going to take my stuff that I’ve been working for. Go work for something yourself.” (WHNT, Huntsville, Ala., 4/5/2011) 

Two young men approached the door of a 95-year-old homeowner in Vance, Ala., and offered to mow his lawn. The homeowner refused, but the pair remained at the door and asked for some water. After the homeowner told the men of a spigot on the side of the house, he overheard the pair talking about robbing him. After retrieving a rifle the homeowner opened the door, at which point he and one of the robbers exchanged fire. The criminals fled the scene, but one was captured by law enforcement a short time later. The homeowner was unharmed. (The Tuscaloosa News, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 10/8/2010) 

A woman was alone in her home in Piedmont, Ala., when she heard a suspicious noise. After retrieving a handgun, the woman searched the house and noticed that her sliding glass door had been broken and a man with a flashlight was inside the home. The intruder yelled something at the homeowner, who then shot the intruder several times, killing him. Police noted that it is unlikely the homeowner will face any charges, with Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson stating, “She was totally within her rights to defend herself.” (The Anniston Star, Anniston, Ala., 5/19/2010) 

Two armed robbers attempted to rob a 60-year-old man from Mobile, Ala. The armed men had planned to wait until the man retrieved money from an ATM, follow the victim to his home, and then rob him at gunpoint. When the robbers confronted the man with a revolver and demanded money, the man drew his own pistol and fired, striking both suspects. One robber was killed, while the other is expected to recover. The Mobile County District Attorney, John Tyson Jr., has deemed the incident to be a case of self-defense. (The Press-Register, Mobile, Ala., 11/4/2008) 

Victor Greenwood, a pizza deliveryman in Dothan, Ala., was assaulted after being lured to a vacant house by two men whose plans were to rob him. After realizing that something was amiss, Greenwood was walking when one of the men struck him in the head with a brick. Greenwood dropped the food, grabbed his pistol and fired, striking one of the men in the leg, and scaring the other one off. The wounded attacker was soon captured by police. After the assault Greenwood stated, “It was either me or him; If they’d got me on the ground, it would’ve been over.” Both attackers have been charged with first-degree armed robbery. Unlike employers in other incidents in which pizza delivery drivers have been fired for defending themselves, Greenwood’s manager, Alan Hodges, has nothing but praise for Greenwood’s actions. “He’s a hero to a lot of delivery people. They risk their lives to deliver their food,” Hodges said. (The Dothan Eagle, Dothan, Ala., 10/6/2008)

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