A drunken man attacked his girlfriend in Memphis last week with a hammer and wrench during a verbal dispute, prompting the woman’s adult son to shoot him as they fled the home.

The son’s use of gunfire wasn’t precisely judicious nor accurate, however, and he’s not earning friends among his neighbors.

“It was frightening; I could have been in the dining room, near that window. I could have been killed,” said 88-year-old John Booker, who heard the shots when the a bullet struck the side of his house.

Booker was not the target of the gun fire. He lives across the street from the house where a violent family feud sparked Tuesday night.

Police say Tony Hardin was in the middle of a heated argument with his live-in girlfriend and her adult son. They say a drunk Hardin ran after the two with a hammer and wrench, and threatened to kill them.

The mother and son escaped, and in the chaos, the son fired several shots at Hardin, who was hit in the back.

“He was laying out there in the yard, he had been to the door,” said Booker.

Hardin collapsed in the yard right next to Booker’s home.

Hardin’s attack was cut short by the gunshot wound, and neither the mother or son seem to have been injured during their escape. Hardin faces aggravated assault charges, and the son has not been charged for shooting him, as he is claiming self-defense and seems to have a valid claim at this point during the police investigation.

The neighbors, including Mr. Booker and his daughter Lachelle Boga, who owns the property that was hit by more rounds than the suspect was, are calling the shooting “reckless.”

Lachelle Boga’s home and mailbox were struck with bullets fired by a man attempting to defend his mother and himself from the mother’s drunken boyfriend, who was armed with hand tools.

While I think they have every right to be concerned over the son’s poor marksmanship and his rule 4 violation, I doubt they’d be quite as vocal if they were the victims of a vicious drunk chasing them with a hammer. Unless you train regularly and correctly, most people tend towards panicked point shooting in moments of extreme stress.

We’re glad that only the armed bad guy was ventilated in this instance, and suggest that everyone get out to the range for regular practice.