Woman, 72, shot by home invader; husband, 74, returns fire

Police looking for man who broke into home early Monday

Author: Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 11:02:24 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 16 2013 09:00:27 PM EDT
Home invasion graphic
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 72-year-old woman was shot by a home invader early Monday morning, and her 74-year-old husband fired back at the man as he fled, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Police were called to the couple's home in the 1300 block of Labelle Street on the Westside just before 4 a.m.

They said the woman was awakened by a strange noise in her house. When she got out bed to check, she saw a tall, slender man in the hallway. She asked him what he was doing in the house, at which time she called for her husband, according to police.

The man then said to the woman, "Shut the (expletive) up," according to police

"He pointed the gun at me and told me to shut my mouth, only in not such good words," said the woman, who didn't want to be identified. "He seemed to turn, I guess looking to see if anybody was coming. And I had a gun in my night table next to the bed."

The woman said she got her gun from the dresser drawer, and that's when the intruder shot her in the left thigh.

"I kind of fell to the floor, then I started hollering that I'd been shot! I'd been shot!" she said.

The husband said he was awakened by the gunshot and heard his wife call for him, so he ran into the room where she was, took the gun from her hand and shot in the direction of the fleeing man.

Police said the man entered the home through the dining room window. They said they found the screen out and the window up. Police also said the rear door in the den was found unlocked and open, and there were items in the den that had been knocked over.

The woman was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with serious injuries.

For the victims, it's terrifying to think that the intruder is still at large. They're hoping someone knows who he is.

"The way he came in and the way he was so brazen about it and didn't have his face covered, I feel he would have shot me either way," the woman said.

Anyone who has any information about the home invasion or the man's identity is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.