A California man said he shot and killed a woman who he found ransacking his home Tuesday night.
Tom Greer, an 80-year-old homeowner in the upscale Long Beach, California neighborhood of Bixby Knolls, said he returned home that night to find a man and woman in his house going through his belongings.
“When I went in there, they tackled me,” Greer told NBC-Los Angeles. “Both of them jumped up on top of me.”
He managed during the altercation to retrieve his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.
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“I come back and they see me with a gun, and they run,” he recalled.
The man was able to escape but Greer said he was able to get shots off at the woman as she fled towards the alley behind his house.
"She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant! I'm going to have a baby!' And I shot her anyway," Greer said.
Greer told reporters he was certain the woman was killed.
"She was dead. I shot her twice, she best be dead ... [The man] had run off and left her,” he said.
“I shot her so that's going to leave a message on his mind for the rest of his life,” Greer added.
Greer had to be treated at a local hospital Wednesday for a severe shoulder and collarbone injury sustained in the scuffle.
“I've never in my life shot anybody, killed anybody,” Greer said.
Greer’s neighbor, George Romero, said there has been an increase in crime in the neighborhood recently.
“We have a lot of people who come over here to find something that they don’t have. And, unfortunately, we do live in a good area,” he told CBS-Los Angeles.
Romero described Greer as a “nice, old man” whose house had been broken into before.
“I remember the first break-in. They literally tore down the front door. And that’s where I came in and met him. I said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? You OK?’ And ever since then, we’ve been acquaintances,” he said.
Police said they are still investigating the recent burglary and shooting. It remains unclear if Greer will be charged in the shooting.
NBC-Los Angeles legal analyst Royal Oakes said that is still a possibility.
“Investigators have to look at both sides of this coin,” Oakes said. “On the one hand, a frail man in his 80s is being attacked in his own home by intruders, he has a right to self-defense. On the other hand, he did shoot a person who was trying to get away, so he wasn't in imminent danger himself and the law says you can't shoot somebody under those circumstances.”