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Returning Burglars Shot by Elderly Man

Hughes, Arkansas — Thinking they had an easy target, two burglars broke into an elderly man’s, home at around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

In an interview the victim, 80-year-old Fred Burkes, told reporters his home had been ransacked by burglars the night before. He had woken up to noises coming from outside his bedroom and when he went to investigate, he found two men running away with his 55-inch TV.

“They ran out the house,” Burkes said. “And then I looked again, and my TV was gone.”

Fearing the suspects might return, Burkes screwed a 2 x 4 to the door to barricade his trailer. The victim’s fears were well justified, but the barricade did little to keep out the intruders.

Neighbors told detectives they had seen some men circling the community and seemed to have a particular interest in Burkes home.

The very next night, the burglars returned, climbing through a side window instead of the front door. When they tried to force their way into his bedroom, Burkes tried to hold the door closed against the men.

Burkes said one of the men asked, “Where the money at?” and then threatened him. Fearing for his life, Burkes grabbed his shotgun and fired, striking one attacker and driving the other one to flee from the home.

The wounded suspect was identified as a juvenile and transported to the hospital for treatment of his injury. His accomplice has also been identified as a juvenile but has not yet been capture by police.

Police have declined to press charges against Burkes for shooting the intruder.

“I don’t feel good at all,” he said. “I’m 80 years old. If he had gotten in there, I don’t know what he would’ve done.”

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