“It was either me or them”: Man kills burglars with AK-47

Police respond to the scene of the shooting at a Memphis home Friday evening.


Some people like to keep a baseball bat by the door in the invent of an intruder. For one Memphis homeowner, an AK-47 got the job done.

Memphis Police responded Friday to a shooting where a resident had walked into his house in the middle of a break-in, CBS Memphis affiliate WREG-TV reports.

The homeowner, who asked to remain anonymous for his safety, said he came home from the barber shop around 7 p.m. to find his door pried open and his caged dog barking wildly. He says he then saw two men in his house, and when they spotted him they drew their weapons.

According to Local Memphis, one of the burglar’s guns jammed, and the other did manage to fire. The two then ran to the kitchen.

“I’m assuming they were trying to go out of my back door,” the homeowner said, “so as they go through there I jumped in the closet and get my AK-47.” He then found them on his patio, aimed his rifle and opened fire.

The two men, identified by authorities as 28-year-old Azell Witherspoon and 17-year-old Demond Robinson, were dead by the time police arrived.

The homeowner was brought in for questioning but released after he reportedly offered footage from his home surveillance system to back up his self-defense story. The District Attorney General’s office determined that no charges will be filed at this time.

“These boys need their father and need some type of discipline,” the homeowner said to WMC-TV. “They’re out here without any fear.” He said he regretted the loss of life but stated, “it was either him or them.”

It’s not the first run-in with crime for the Memphis man. His house is still pockmarked with bullet holes from a previous shooting at his property. “I don’t know what’s going on but I know I’m going to defend my life to the best of my ability,” he told WMC-TV.

He said he does worry about possible retaliation.

“You never know how someone else’s family may perceive the situation,” he said.

It was a violent weekend in Memphis. Beyond this incident, there four people killed and five injured by gunfire in a 31-hour period, according to Memphis Police Department’s Twitter account.

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