A man in Athens was shot on Monday after burglarizing a home and encountering a resident who was armed with a gun. The incident occurred at around 5:50 a.m. on Tallassee Road in North Athens, GA. The suspect, James E. Hill, was treated for an arm wound and then taken into custody. He remains in the Athens-Clarke County Jail without bond.
The resident, a 32-year-old man, told police that his girlfriend’s son had noticed a stranger sitting in the living room watching TV. He grabbed his firearm and ran to confront the intruder. The resident said the intruder tried to reason with them, claiming that someone had let him in and that the police were outside looking for him. However, the resident knew that no one had let the intruder in.
The resident reported to the police that the intruder had something in his hand and he was unsure what it was. The suspect then started running, and the resident started shooting, hitting him in the arm. The man’s girlfriend called 911, and police arrived soon after, taking Hill into custody. Hill was found to be carrying a remove control.
Police officer Adam Sartain collected seven 9mm shell casings from the scene and also took possession of the resident’s Glock 45 9mm pistol. Hill was charged with burglary, and he provided a statement to a detective, although the details of the statement were not released.
The resident noted that his father had left for work and left the door unlocked, through which Hill gained access to the home. While the resident was glad Hill survived the shooting, he stated that he was willing to use his gun to protect his family and home. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of securing one’s home and considering all options before resorting to the use of deadly force.
The resident also told the police, “I just wanted to scare him, but I ended up hitting him.” This situation serves as a reminder that it is crucial to always shoot to stop the threat, rather than to scare them. As we have discussed before, warning shots can lead to legal issues.
In addition, it is vital to remain consistent in the small things that make a significant difference in terms of home security. Locking your doors is a must. If the burglar had found the door locked, he may have abandoned the attempt and moved on to the next house. We cannot afford to be complacent. Smart door locks that can be locked remotely or set to lock automatically after a specific time period can also be a helpful tool to enhance your home security.