A Long Beach homeowner has no regrets after shooting and killing a woman who said she was pregnant after he got into a confrontation with her and another man who were ransacking his sprawling home.
Tom Greer, an 80-year-old retiree, arrived to his upscale Bixby Knolls neighborhood Tuesday night to find a couple in the middle of a late-night break-in.
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"When I went in there, they tackled me," Greer told NBC4 Wednesday. "Both of them jumped up on top of me."
The intruders, a man and woman, may have underestimated Greer, he said, as they ransacked his safe and yanked the door open right in front of him.
The intruders threw Greer to the ground, but they didn't know he'd gotten his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.
"I come back and they see me with a gun, and they run," he said.
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The man escaped, but the woman fell after being struck by Greer's gunfire in an alley behind the house.
"She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant! I'm going to have a baby!' And I shot her anyway," Greer said.
When asked what he saw happen to the woman after he fired shots, Greer responded: "She was dead. I shot her twice, she best be dead ... (The man) had run off and left her."
"I've never in my life shot anybody, killed anybody," Greer said.
Greer was being treated at the hospital Wednesday for a severe shoulder and collarbone injury, but he hoped to send a warning to the man who got away.
"I shot her so that's going to leave a message on his mind for the rest of his life," Greer said.
Long Beach police said they were investigating the incident. It was not immediately clear whether any charges would be filed against Greer for the shooting.
"Investigators have to look at both sides of this coin," said legal analyst Royal Oakes. "On the one hand a frail man in his 80s is being attacked in his own home by intruders, he has a right to self-defense. On the other hand, he did shoot a person who was trying to get away, so he wasn't in imminent danger himself and the law says you can't shoot somebody under those circumstances."