A 73-year-old Hamblen County man awoke when his dog wouldn’t stop barking, and went to the window in time to see a vehicle drive up to his daughter’s home next door. Don Grubb grabbed his gun and went outside in time to hear them kick in the door at his daughters home—the family was away on vacation and no one was home—and decided to wait beside their car for them to return.
When they did, things got dicey, real fast:
“When they came out I told them I called 911 and the law was on the way. Just as soon as I said that they shot at me. It was dark and I couldn’t see they had a gun,” Grubb said.
He was hit in the face and shoulder. The bullets are still in his skin.
“It was dark, but I could feel the blood it was dripping. It was coming out so fast,” Grubb said.
After getting shot, Grubb shot back.
“I shot back but they got behind a tree and it was dark and I couldn’t see. They shot five times at me and I shot six times at them,” Grubb said.
Then the burglars took off running and Grubb went back to his house to get more bullets. He then waited again by the suspects’ car. He was able to grab one of them, identified as Clyde Webster, 21, pinning him to the ground until help arrived.
“I said you’ve done shot me, and I don’t want to shoot you but I said if you don’t lay there I will shoot you,” Grubb said.
When authorities arrived, Grubb still had Webster, 1/3 his age, pinned to the ground.
Webster’s accomplice Tyler Trivett, 23,was easy enough to track down since he left the car—registered in his name—behind when he fled on foot.
Both aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, and theft of property over $500. Trivett faces additional drug charges for items found in the vehicle.
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We like reading stories like this—at least I know I do—because they speak to our admiration of tenacity, our reverence for justice, and many other variables. It makes us feel good when bad guys are taken down.
But let’s be perfectly clear, folks: as tough as he turned out to be, Mr. Grubb did just about everything possible wrong, and is very lucky to be alive. He left his home to encounter an unknown threat. He did not have adequate cover, nor a weapon that he could aim and fire accurately under those conditions (no night sights, no weapon lights), missing with every shot he fired.
Mr. Grubb seems to have survived largely due to a combination of luck, and the fact that the criminals fired at him with small-caliber weapons that couldn’t penetrate deeply enough to cause life-threatening wounds. If the round that struck his cheekbone was a more powerful centerfire round, we might be mourning Mr. Grubb’s loss, instead of admiring his tenacity and grit.
Your best option when there aren’t any lives at risk (and in this instance, Mr. Grubb knew that no one was home), is to call the police and stay in your own home, collecting as much information as possible about the suspects, while waiting for the guys with more guns and body armor (and radios to call more guys with guns and body armor) to arrive.
We’re very glad that this story had a “happy” ending, but we need to recognize just how easily this could have been a far more tragic story.