The sheriff’s office of Jefferson County, Alabama, is investigating an incident that resulted in the death of a murder suspect during the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday. After receiving a report of a burglary attempt at the home of John Croft, 79, in Center Point, sheriff’s deputies responded. 
 
When the lawmen arrived, they found Croft sitting on the front porch of his home on Ormond Drive in the suburb of Birmingham. He had suffered a gunshot wound to his ankle. Inside the home, there was another man who had also suffered a gunshot wound. Shortly thereafter, the man inside the house was pronounced dead.
 
According to Croft, at approximately 1 a.m. he was awakened when a man entered his bedroom window and said "Don't move! I said don't move!" Croft added that the man "used the N-word." Grabbing a gun, Croft said he shot his assailant, who was also armed. "I think he would have shot me, and would have been dead in the house, and I live alone. I would have probably been in there stinking, and somebody would have smelled something after two weeks and said 'Let's go an see if John is still alive.'"
 
Croft fired his weapon and struck one male suspect, who then fell to the floor. The other suspect fled from the house while Croft gave chase. The fleeing suspect fired his gun at Croft and wounded him in the ankle. That suspect was able to flee in a waiting vehicle that a third suspect drove away. No arrests have been made in connection to the incident.
 
Croft was taken for treatment at a local hospital and has since been released. He said that he had not wanted to kill anyone, having cited adherence to the Ten Commandments. He said he is looking forward to celebrating his 80th birthday in April.
 
He told local WVTM television news that he lives alone. Family members said that he has kept as much as $3000 in cash in his home. Croft complained that he has been robbed 13 times and has been trying to catch the culprits. From now on, he said, he will keep his money in a bank.


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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