73-year-old homeowner shoots, kills 2 intruders during robbery attempt


Credit: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Credit: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

An elderly Missouri man shot and killed two men who police said attempted to rob him at gunpoint Tuesday at his home.

KMOV reported that the 73-year-old man, whose name was not released by police, was working in the detached garage of his home in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis Tuesday afternoon when two men barged in. Police said that Jonathan Warren, 18, of Florissant, and Lonnie Middlebrook, 20, of Ferguson, put a gun to the older man's head and told him to back up.

The homeowner then grabbed his own gun and opened fire, KMOV reported. Both suspects were killed at the scene.

The homeowner expressed sadness over the shooting in a brief conversation Wednesday with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I wish it had never happened," he told the newspaper. "I am devastated over it."

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The Post-Dispatch reported that the man had his handgun in a pocket when the robbery suspects came in and demanded his pickup truck, which was parked outside. Both men fell near the pickup after being shot.

The homeowner's gun, as well as weapons linked to the two suspects, were found at the scene. The gun found with Warren had been reported stolen Sunday in Florissant, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Neighbors told the newspaper that the homeowner, a retired fireman, is a friendly man who never hesitates to say hello or help a neighbor in need.

"The man takes his snow blower and clears my porch," Peggy Armbruster said. "He takes care of a neighbor who is blind. He likes to tinker in his garage, and he is back there a lot."

Armbruster said she did not know her neighbor carried a gun, but that he had been a robbery victim in the past.

No charges have been filed against the man.

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