A 62-year-old United States Marine Corps veteran shot and wounded three home invasion suspects during a gunfight in Theodore, Alabama.
The story begins when the suspects reportedly broke into Michael Irving’s home and stole all of his cancer medication. During that encounter, the thieves threatened to harm him if he reported the incident to the police.
A week after that, Irving received a threatening phone call from an unknown person. Undeterred by this, Irving called the authorities to report the robbery and the threatening phone call, and the police began an investigation.
And on the evening, the three suspects returned. This time, they were armed with a handgun and a shotgun. Irving heard a knock at the door and went to answer it. Once he opened the door, he was greeted by a close-range shotgun blast.
“I walked right here to open the door, and that’s when he shot me right there,” Irving said.
Fortunately, Irving was able to gain the upper hand.
Irving believes that the frame saved his life, and told the outlet: “Where the bullet hole is, you can see how thick that glass is and that’s what saved me because it slowed down the buckshot enough.”
After the initial shot, Irving’s Marine Corps instincts kicked in: “They cut loose on me and that’s when I went to the cabinet here, and back behind the coffee was an old-time pistol. I opened the door and smoked ’em.”
He shot all three would-be burglars but made sure not to kill them. “I tried not to shoot any of them in the chest. I didn’t want to have to kill ’em,” he said.
Two of the suspects fled, leaving one behind. However, they were arrested moments later at a Dollar General store two miles away from the home. The three were taken to the hospital for medical care and then arrested.
Authorities are still looking for the fourth suspect, believed to be the getaway driver.
Irving is being hailed as a hero, but he maintains that his survival was a result of his military training.
“I learned that in the Marine Corps — ‘react and do’ before you get scared,” he stated.
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