Most people about to cross over into octogenarianhood probably couldn’t win a fistfight against someone who’s almost four times younger than them, but thankfully a 79-year-old from Wisconsin didn’t have to worry about using his bare hands to defend his life when he was attacked inside his home. Instead, he was exercising his right to bear arms, and that likely made a life-or-death difference in the outcome of the encounter.
Sheriffs’ officials in Marathon County, Wisconsin say the elderly man was likely followed home by the 22-year old suspect early Tuesday morning after leaving a local establishment. As the homeowner stepped out of his car after pulling into his garage, the suspect sprang his surprise assault, not realizing his intended victim had the motive and means to fight back in self-defense.
Deputies from the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched at approximately 2:37 am to a residence in the Town of Elderon for a report of a man who was assaulted and stabbed in the face as he exited his vehicle in his garage, the Sheriff’s Office said.…
The (elderly) man was in possession of a firearm and fired one round that struck the (22-year-old) suspect prior to the firearm being wrestled away from him. The suspect suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and died while fleeing the scene. The suspect’s identity is being withheld pending family notification.
The 79-year-old man sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is recovering at a local hospital.
In the struggle for the firearm the 22-year old was able to get his hands on the gun, but fled the scene rather than continuing his assault. Police, who haven’t publicly identified the suspect, say he was found dead in his car a short time later with a gunshot wound to the chest.
“At this time we do not believe there is any danger to the community, and we have detectives on scene who are actively investigating,” said [Marathon County Sheriff Chad] Billeb. “Our detectives will be there for the better part of the day processing the scene.”
He adds they are treating the incident as a major crime scene.
The Sheriff couldn’t elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the shooting. That includes if the victim and the attacker knew each other, though he did say they don’t believe the two are related. Additionally, investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the incident was a home invasion.
Thankfully, the injuries the homeowner received don’t appear to be life-threatening, which would likely not have been the case had he not been able to protect himself. I believe this homeowner is alive today because he was able to exercise his right to armed self-defense. I’m sure there are a lot of gun control activists who’d dismiss the idea that a 79-year-old in a small town in Wisconsin with a population of just a couple hundred residents would ever really need to carry a firearm to begin with, but as this case shows crime can strike anywhere… and any one of us can become the targets of violent criminals.