Friday, October 24, 2014

NC: In Gunfight, Grandfather stops Rape of Granddaughter

It is difficult to measure the positive effects of one man's courage in a desperate situation.   In this event, the home was invaded by three armed men.   One man used a pretense of asking for water to get the door unlocked; then all three forced their way inside.  Two wore masks.    All three were armed with guns, make and model unknown.

They demanded that the homeowner, 67-year-old grandfather, Kenneth Byrd, his wife, 65-year-old Judy, and their 19-year-old granddaughter open a safe.  All three members of the Byrd family were badly beaten.  Then they started to rape the granddaughter, or at least they tried.      From
 LUMBERTON - A Lumberton man traded gunfire with three men who forced their way into his home, robbed the family, tried to rape his granddaughter and stole his car Monday, Robeson County authorities said.
Kenneth Byrd accessed a gun and engaged in a close quarters gunfight.   He shot all three invaders.   According to neighbors, Byrd was hit three times in the arm, four times in the leg, and once in the chest.   All of the invaders were hit.   Byrd then managed to get across the street to summon help.   The neighbor had to call the ambulance twice.   The Sheriff deputies arrived first.

The invaders fled, stealing Byrd's Cadillac in the process.   Judy and the granddaughter were not hit.  Kenneth was taken to the local hospital and airlifted to another for treatment.

Jamie Faison

One of the invaders did not do as well. Jamie Faison was found dead in the Cadillac, six miles away.  The two other suspects, Brandon Carver Stephens and Jamar Hawkins, showed up at another hospital with gunshot wounds and were also airlifted for emergency surgery. All three were suspected of multiple other home invasions.

One neighbor thinks the home was targeted because of the Byrd's medical conditions and access to prescription pills.   Another neighbor indicated that Byrd had let it be known that he kept large amounts of cash in the house.  A third neighbor said that Brandon Stephens knew the Byrds.

It is clear that Jaime Faison will not be invading homes in the future, and that the other two are likely to be locked up for a considerable period.  Kenneth Byrd was listed in serious condition as of Tuesday.   The home invasion happened on Monday, the 20th of October.

At least one rape was averted.   It seems likely that the invaders would not wish to leave witnesses.   As all three of the Byrd family have survived we cannot know for certain.  Another uncertainty is the number of violent crimes that were prevented because Kenneth Byrd was willing to fight.   It is likely a large number.

The neighbors are proud of Kenneth Byrd, as noted in the Robesonian:
Pittman said it was just like Byrd’s character to “take care of himself, take care of everything in the house, then get across the street” for help.

“The old man showed me,” he said. “I’m proud of him.”
Letting outsiders know that you keep large amounts of cash at home is a bad idea.   You cannot control where that information goes.   In this case, it may not have been the information about the cash; the invaders might have been after drugs, or it might have been a combination of things.   The granddaughter might have been targeted as well.

This event reinforces the idea that it is reasonable to carry at home, especially when you answer the door.   A stand off barrier, to allow homeowners to see visitors from a distance, has considerable merit.  The porch shown in the picture looks as if it could have been converted for such use, but was not.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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