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A 31-year-old West Virginia man through to be behind a string of robberies is now dead after charging the senior citizen who refused to be a victim:

The homeowner told investigators he had been out of town and when he returned Tuesday, found his house had been burglarized, items were taken and the electric meter had been removed from the house. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, he said he heard some noises, and grabbed his gun to go check it out. That’s when he found someone across the road with a flashlight.

The homeowner, who is 65 years old, says he started toward the road to make sure the person moved along, and found Robert Andrew Carter, 31, of Campbell’s Creek in his garage.

During the confrontation the homeowner fired a warning shot, and Car ter charged toward him. The homeowner shot Carter, who then shouted something like, “I’ll kill you, old man,” and continued toward the homeowner. That’s when the homeowner fired another shot into Carter’s chest, according to deputies.

Carter was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say there has been a rash of burglaries and property crime in the area in recent days and that Carter was a suspect in some of those crimes.

The homeowner said that he’s sorry that Carter’s family will have to deal with his death. He did, however, plainly fire in self-defense after being threatened and charged by a man less than half his age.

Other homeowners in the area were less forgiving. Neighbor Fred Morris told reporters at WSAZ that he, too, had a handgun, and wasn’t afraid to use it on criminals plaguing the area. “I got a pistol on my porch, and if I catch somebody in or around my house — I will shoot them.”

Let’s hope instead that would-be criminals simply decide that it is easier and safer to get a job and earn their money instead of preying on their fellow citizens.