Homer “Tank” Wright, 80, was arrested after shooting Anthony Robinson, 19, who broke into his residence in an attempt to steal liquor, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Wright was awakened at approximately 4:00 a.m. by his 75-year-old wife who heard a noise. Wright confronted Robinson — who had broken through some plywood over a bathroom window — with his 38. caliber pistol and shot him in the leg.
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The octogenarian was charged with unlawful use of a weapon due to prior weapons convictions, reports the Tribune, and he voiced his anger after his release this afternoon:
“It’s wrong,” Wright said, “Unjust that I can’t protect me. If somebody breaks into a place where they are not supposed to be, I bet something will happen.”
Wright, owner of a tavern in the Chicago area, had moved above the property because of consistent problems with break-ins and his grandson, Courtney Cook, voiced his outrage at his grandfather’s treatment:
You have to look at what’s right and what’s wrong in that situation,” he said. “He’s supposed to protect his home and his family. I mean, you know, is he supposed to be the victim? I mean, you know, just let it keep happening? If it’s going to keep happening, then where’s the law? What good is the law?
Wright, who has had triple bypass surgery, says that he has no plans of abandoning his home nor his business:
This is our living,” he said. “I’m going to be here. I’m not leaving. This is where I’m planning to stay.”
Robinson was treated at a local hospital. Once he was released, he was charged with felony burglary and held on $150,000 bond.
Friends and neighbors held a press conference to show their support for Wright, whom they referred to as a “pillar of the community” for over 40 years, and called on prosecutors to drop all charges:
If a man can’t defend himself from harm, what can he do?” asked neighbor Darryl Smith. “If he hadn’t defended himself, we would be here for a different reason — because an intruder came in and killed him.
“We’re outraged as a community and we’re calling for the state’s attorney’s office to drop the charges,” he added. “This man has done nothing wrong.”
Chicago mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, was asked to comment on the case and he refused because it would be “inappropriate” to do so in the middle of an investigation.