Three alleged robbers got more than they bargained for when an elderly man shot one of them following a reported assault and robbery in Boaz, Kentucky.
The homeowner was greeted by some unexpected visitors during the night of Nov. 6, when Timothy Roper, Miranda Murphy and Joshua White allegedly forced their way into the victim's home and proceeded to beat him and steal from him, though authorities have not disclosed what specifically they removed from his home, notes WKRN.
Afterward, the victim reportedly grabbed his gun and fired it, hitting Roper in the upper torso.
Police were alerted to the situation after the gravely wounded suspect arrived at a nearby hospital seeking treatment. The 46-year-old died from his wounds, and officers determined that he was a suspect in the break-in.
Authorities then tracked down Murphy and White, took them into custody and booked them on charges of complicity to commit first-degree burglary and complicity to commit first-degree robbery.
Murphy faces an additional charge of first-degree possession of a controlled substance after officers allegedly caught her with methamphetamine.
Neighbors in the Graves County community said that they were shocked that such an incident took place in the formerly quiet, safe area, reports WPSD.
"The police have been actively helping us move the neighborhood back to the way it used to be," Lawrence Bermingham, who lives across from the robbery victim, told WPSD.
Since the break-in occurred, neighbors have said that they are worried about their own safety and want to know what the law authorizes them to do in the event that another violent break-in takes place in the neighborhood.
"To be honest with you, I keep a gun by my nightstand, and I plan to keep myself protected," said Bermingham.
Kentucky allows residents to use deadly force to defend themselves if they fear for their lives when somebody unlawfully breaks into their home, or to protect themselves from an attempted kidnapping or rape, according to the Kentucky Legislature's official website. Similarly, those who are anywhere they are legally allowed to be are permitted to meet force with force -- including deadly force -- to protect themselves or another person.
"If you're prepared, and have trained, and become proficient with your weapon, then you will know when that time comes, hopefully, and you won't be a little bit too late," said retired police officer Doug Kirkham, according to WPSD. "You'll be prepared to defend your life if necessary."
Sources: WKRN, WPSD, Kentucky Legislature / Featured Image: Pexels / Embedded Images: Graves County Jail via WKRN, St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office/Wikimedia Commons