There are dozens of defensive gun uses every day across the United States, though most of those incidents never make the local news, much less national headlines. A couple of recent armed citizen stories may actually garner more attention than usual, however. In one case, a Michigan woman was able to fend off a home invader with the help of her firearm, while a Georgia man helped to take a murder suspect into custody and defend himself from harm.
Early Saturday morning, police in the small town of Negaunee, Michigan were called out to a home on a report of shots fired. When they arrived, officers found a suspect hiding in the basement of the home, and thankfully were able to take him into custody without incident.
Police say the man broke into the home, but was confronted by the 60-year-old homeowner. The suspect allegedly fired a shot at the woman, who returned gunfire of her own, before hiding in her bedroom and calling police who arrived on scene shortly thereafter.
There’s no word on why the suspect decided to remain in the home rather than escape while he had the opportunity, but he may very well have decided it was safer to stay in the basement rather than risk running across the armed homeowner again as he was trying to make a quick exit.
While the intruder in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may have avoided injury, if not capture, in his attempt to break into the woman’s home, a man suspected of murder in Ohio wasn’t nearly as lucky when he targeted a home in Fayetteville, Georgia last Thursday. According to Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb, 28-year-old Michael James Brooks II tripped the home’s alarm system and alerted the residents inside. Babb says the homeowner “was forced to defend his family by discharging a firearm, which resulted in injuries to the intruder.”
During the course of their investigation, Fayette County deputies determined that the truck used by Brooks had been stolen in Ohio. A little more digging turned up Brooks’ extensive criminal history as well as the fact that he’s the prime suspect in the murder of a 77-year-old Columbus, Ohio woman named Emily Foster, who was stabbed to death in her home earlier this month.
A neighbor, who went around 3:55 p.m. on that Saturday to check on Foster at the home on the 2000 block of Iuka Avenue, found her on the kitchen floor. Paramedics pronounced her dead a few minutes later.
Weir said forensic evidence helped investigators identify Michael J. Brooks II, 28, of Columbus, as a suspect and put him at the scene. As of Friday morning, there did not appear to be any connection between Foster and Brooks.
… Evidence from cameras in the area showed Brooks, riding a bike without pants, after the homicide. Despite some reports that Foster died earlier, Weir said the death 100% happened Sept. 9.
Other evidence showed Brooks entering the area wearing a pair of sweatpants, which Weir said was found near the crime scene.
Prosecutors filed a murder charge against Brooks on Wednesday, and police began actively looking for him. On Thursday morning, Columbus police got a call from Fayette County, Georgia, that Brooks was in custody there.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Brooks was released from the Franklin County Jail just a day before Foster was murdered, despite having pled guilty to two counts of felony fleeing; crimes for which he was to be sentenced in October.
While the Franklin County criminal justice system returned Brooks to the streets even after his guilty plea, it was the armed citizen in Fayetteville, Georgia who helped put him back behind bars; not only protecting his family from harm but doing his part to ensure that justice will be done for Emily Foster… at least if prosecutors don’t end up cutting him yet another sweetheart plea deal.
The incident in Georgia has already garnered a bit of attention from the news media, but the case of self-defense in Michigan barely made a blip on the radar of local media in the area, much less national press coverage. Both of these defensive gun uses highlight the importance of being prepared to defend yourself, however, and even an alarm system is no substitute for being able to fight back if a dangerous criminal decides your home looks like an inviting target for their next armed break-in.