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Elderly ex-Army marksman shoots burglar

February 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An elderly man from Baldwin Hills took matters into his own hands when two suspected burglars were at his bedroom window Tuesday night.

"I was in bed and heard the noise - boom, boom - then I came to see what it was," said 87-year-old Jack Goodwin. "It was two guys busting the window out coming in."

Fearing for his life, Goodwin grabbed his 9mm handgun and shot at the suspects, wounding at least one of them.

Goodwin was an Army marksman in World War II.

"I only shot twice. I didn't empty the gun or nothing like that," Goodwin said.

There are two bullet holes in his bedroom window.

Goodwin said he immediately called police after firing at the suspects.

Police said one of the burglary suspects was wounded by the gunshots. They said he is in the hospital in critical condition. The second suspect fled the scene. They do not know if he was wounded as well.

"Anybody, almost a blind man, could have hit them. I was right up on them," Goodwin said.

Goodwin said shooting a gun is second nature to him, even at his age.

"I don't brag, but I could shoot it," he said, adding that he bought the gun 20 years ago and keeps it close enough to quickly grab at night.

Police announced Wednesday night that Goodwin was acting in self-defense and was not expected to be charged with any crime.

Goodwin said he was simply defending himself.

"If you attack me, well, what do you expect back? If I was attacking somebody, I would expect them to do me the same way," he said.

Goodwin said his neighborhood has its share of crime, ranging from burglaries, car thefts and shootings.

He said that keeps him alert, but not afraid. Unlike many residences in the neighborhood, he does not have iron bars on his windows.