An elderly Vietnam War veteran beat down a home invader who had attacked his wife, ultimately leading to the intruder’s death, WACH-TV reports.
Around 2 p.m. Monday, 82-year-old Herbert Parrish and 79-year-old Lois Parrish heard a knock on their back door at their home in Columbia, South Carolina. There they found 61-year-old Harold Runnels, who asked whether they had seen his chihuahua.
Louis told Runnels she had not seen the dog, and as she was closing the door, he pushed his way into the home, knocked her to the floor, and slashed her forehead with a large knife.
That’s when Herbert grabbed a wall-mounted shotgun near the door and struck Runnels with the weapon until he was incapacitated.
“I started hitting him in the head with the barrel and I know I must have hit him at least ten times right in the face, just as hard as I could hit him,” Herbert told WACH-TV.
When emergency crews arrived, they found Runnels covered in blood. He was brought to a hospital and later died from injuries he sustained in the brawl.
Herbert told WACH-TV that he needed to act fast.
“I felt, we’re gone. He’s going to kill us and take what he can take,” Herbert told the television station. “He was not going to go out that door and leave us alive. That’s the way I felt. That’s why I said, I’ve got to do something quick and get the edge on him, get the advantage on him.”
Both Herbert and Lois were injured in the attack, but they are expected to recover fully. The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office has said the couple will not be charged, WJBF-TV reports.
Residents of the area say the neighborhood is tight-knit and usually quiet, according to the Aiken Standard. Alyssa Hill, who lives next door to the couple, recalled getting treats from Lois as a child.
“When we were little, [Lois] would bake cookies for us. She would always give us candy and wanted to know if we needed anything,” Hill told the newspaper.
Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Abdullah urged residents to call 911 if an intruder breaks into their home.
“Of course, folks have the right to defend themselves if their lives are in danger, but the best thing to do is to call for help,” Abdullah told the Aiken Standard. “Every situation is going to be different. It may be a similar crime in nature, but every situation is going to be different. There’s no way to accurately predict exactly what actions that any person should take if somebody is trying to invade their home. The best recourse is to think smartly and get help on the way.”
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]