A would-be burglar got more than he bargained for after a Knoxville homeowner put a round through the man’s shoulder.
Brandon Caldwell, a 34-year-old parole with a history of burglaries, broke into Darrin Smith’s home Friday morning. When Smith returned and found a suspicious truck parked in his driveway, he immediately went for his 9mm pistol. And when Smith spotted the crook inside his home, he opened fire.
“I asked him to get on the ground,” said Smith. “He refused and started messing with something. I shot him. He jumped out the window, jumped off the porch, busted open the gate and left.”
Caldwell was struck in the right arm but still managed jump in his truck and speed away. His next stop? A fire station.
The wounded burglar kicked on the fire station door and when nobody answered, broke one of the windows.
“He said, ‘I’ve been shot! I need help!’ and started kicking on the doors,” said Troy Wells, a construction worker who was nearby. “No one was there, so he kicked the glass. I called 911 for him and though that’s all that I can do.”
Officers arrived on the scene and detained Caldwell before transporting him to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
“It appears that the injuries could be quite serious,” said Knoxville Police Spokesman Darrell DeBusk.
Police found multiple household items in Caldwell’s vehicle including a television, Playstation 2, and Xbox. They were “most likely from more than residence,” said DeBusk.
Smith said he didn’t want to scare his kids by telling them their video game consoles were stolen, and his wife is uncomfortable returning to the room where Caldwell was shot.
But police lauded Smith for his bravery and ability to remain calm under pressure.
“I’ve owned the gun for 25 years and never shot at anyone ever,” said Smith. “I’ve only target-shot three or four times. It’s something I like to do when I get a chance to, but I don’t get a chance very often.”
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)