CENTER POINT, Ala. – An elderly homeowner shoots an intruder as his home is invaded by suspects. For 21 years, John Croft lived in his Alabama home virtually problem-free until last summer, reported WBRC.

“I’ve been a prisoner in my house,” he said.

Croft, who is 79, says the burglaries began last June. Since then, he says his Center Point house has been broken into 13 times. Most recently, Wednesday about 1:15 a.m.

“When I heard the noise, that’s when they opened the window from the basement coming to the level where the bedrooms are,” he said.

Jefferson County deputies confirmed there were two men inside. Another, driving the getaway car, waited outside.

“I have three bedrooms. I think they checked the other two bedrooms out and then he came over there and said, ‘Don’t move!’ He heard the bed squeak. I was getting my gun. He said, ‘Don’t move’ and he used the ‘N’ word and I shot,” Croft recounted later Wednesday.

“I hate that boy dead, but I don’t hate I shot him.”

GovX

Croft says he didn’t know it at the time, but the suspect had shot him too, hitting him in the ankle. While he hoped he’d never be required to take another persons life, Croft is now wrestling with reality through mixed emotions.

“I hate to meet this mother, cuz this was a teenager. There’s nothing as precious to a mother as a son. And you know what is happening to black boys today. For another black man to have to shoot one, it just doesn’t look good. But like I said, I had no choice.”

WBRC FOX6 News

Wednesday afternoon, authorities had not released the name of the suspect that was killed as they were still notifying his family.

It was difficult to discern based upon limited information whether the crime was a cat-burglary or home-invasion-robbery. However, deputies are also still searching for the two additional suspects.

By all appearances, officials say, Croft was well within his rights to defend himself and his property.