COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A Columbus homeowner said he was sending a message to all would-be criminals when he shot at three armed men who invaded his Northeast Side home Friday morning.
NBC 4's Patrick Preston reported with the bottomline.
Police were called to the 3000 block of Maize Road close to 6 a.m.
Jack, who did not want to be fully identified, said he was asleep when his 84-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer's, opened the door for the three men.
After pushing her to the ground, one of the men kicked open the door to Jack's bedroom and demanded to know where he kept his money.
"I said, 'It's in my slippers,' " Jack said.
As the men searched, Jack fired one shot from the .40-caliber firearm he keeps beside his bed.
"When the guy bent down, I already had my hand on the gun, and I reached up and fired at him," Jack said. "He turned to run, and I just shot again."
The three men fled, but Jack believes his second shot hit one of them.
Columbus Police Sgt. Gary Householder said the three armed suspects pleaded with the mother-in-law to help them warm up from the cold weather.
He was angry the men would take advantage of his mother-in-law then try to hurt his family.
"If somebody's going to hurt me, I'm going to hurt them. You break in my house, and you're going to get that," he said.
Police notified local hospitals to alert them if a gunshot-wound victim were to arrive. Detectives were following up on one patient at Grant Medical Center who checked himself in with a gunshot wound and might match the description of the suspects.
Police took him into custody and then had to release him. They will check evidence found at the scene against blood.
"I would suggest that if you don't know who's outside knocking at your door, don't open it. Don't answer it," Householder said.
"I just hope that people learn from this that you cannot do that because you will pay," Jack said.