Two home invasion stories from earlier this month demonstrate once again how access to firearms allows the less powerful to defend themselves from those who seek to do them harm.
In the first incident, a 12-year-old boy in North Carolina shot and killed a home intruder who had shot a 73-year-old woman during an attempted robbery.
Two masked men broke into the apartment of 73-year-old Linda Ellis and demanded money, according to WRAL. During the altercation, one of the suspects, 19-year-old Khalil Herring, shot Ellis in the leg.
That’s when a 12-year-old boy who was also at the residence shot Herring and forced him and his accomplice to flee.
“A 12-year-old juvenile occupant of the residence shot at the suspects with a firearm in self-defense, causing them to flee the area,” wrote officials in a statement.
Police later found Herring at a nearby intersection, and he eventually succumbed to his injuries. Ellis was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
In the second incident, an 82-year-old Vietnam veteran defended himself and his wife from a knife-wielding attacker who broke into their home.
Lois Parrish, 79, answered the door of their home to 61-year-old Harold Runnels, who said he was looking for his dog. When Lois said she didn’t know where the dog was, Runnels forced his way inside while the woman was trying to close the door, according to WACH.
Runnels took out a large knife and began attacking Lois, knocking her to the ground and slicing her in the forehead.
“I felt, we’re gone. He’s going to kill us and take what he can take,” said Herbert Parrish, Lois’s husband.
But Herbert, an 82-year-old Vietnam veteran, wasn’t going down without a fight.
“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,” Herbert said.
He grabbed a shotgun that was hanging on a wall display and began striking the 6-foot 4-inch Runnels on the head.
“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 said.
Herbert continued to strike Runnels until he was unconscious. When police arrived, they found both the Parrish’s responsive but Runnels was on the ground covered in blood, according to the Aiken Standard.
Runnels later died of his injuries.
Neither the Parrish’s nor the 12-year-old boy are expected to face charges, though the investigations are still ongoing.