Posted on Tue, Jul. 29, 2008
84-year-old man wounds intruder
By J.R. WELSH
HANCOCK COUNTY -- An 84-year-old man, who repeatedly held off an alleged intruder Sunday when the man tried to break into his home, finally got a gun in desperation and shot through a door, wounding the intruder in the leg.
At the time, the elderly resident was at home with his 74-year-old wife about 5 a.m. at their residence in the area of Adams Street in Bayside Park. Hancock County Sheriff's Investigator Andre Fizer said the couple heard a disturbance as a man tried to break through the front door and also tried to enter through a back door and a rear window of the residence.
The resident called 911 and reported that the intruder was trying to force his way into the home, and was threatening to kill him. He held himself against the door to keep the man from entering.
"The victim stated that when he became physically tired from holding the door, he became fearful for his and his wife's lives," Fizer said.
As he grew weaker trying to hold off the intruder, the resident asked his wife to bring his .45-caliber Colt handgun. He fired one shot through a lower panel of the door.
"He was getting tired," said Fizer, who listened to a tape of the 911 call during the ensuing investigation. "He said, 'I knew the guy was going to eventually overcome me.'
Although meant as a warning shot, the round struck 20-year-old Wade Ledesma of Bay St. Louis in the lower left leg. He was initially taken by American Medical Response to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, then was transferred to University Hospital in Jackson. Ledesma was listed in fair condition Monday, Fizer said.
Deputies declined to release the name of the homeowner, saying the couple feared recrimination. Based on evidence and the 911 tape, no charges were filed against him.
From hearing the tape, "You could tell he was devastated," Fizer said. "You could tell he was scared."
It was not clear whether Ledesma knew his alleged victims. Pending his release from hospitalization, he faces charges of attempted burglary, malicious mischief, and disturbance of a family, Fizer said.
Deputies investigating the case included Fizer, Lt. Stacy Wilson, Sgt. Gary Dyess and Matt Schmidlin.
He should have had the gun sooner and shot him in the face!