A 74-year-old woman was sleeping near her newly acquired handgun when she heard a burglar breaking into her home in the middle of the night in late November. As the intruder made his way up the stairs of her Leavenworth, Kansas home, she called 911 and grabbed the .22 caliber handgun she’d purchased that week after “previous burglary attempts.”
While on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, the woman shot 41-year-old Ralph Byrd Jr. from the top of the stairs. When authorities arrived on the scene, they found the intruder dead and the elderly woman “in the grip of the heart attack,” The Kansas City Star reported.
“Obviously the county attorney is not going to file charges against the 74-year-old woman,” Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson stated last week, the Star reported.
Byrd had been convicted of attempting a home robbery in 2017 and was reportedly addicted to heroine, according to his family, KTLA reported. The victim’s brother, Elvis Byrd, says his family is not upset at the woman, adding that his brother “would do anything he had to do to get high.”
“She protected herself, and our family is not mad at her,” Byrd told FOX4KC. “Our hearts go out to her because she did what any one of us would have done.”
Leavenworth County has been riddled with drug-related crimes over the past decade. Last year, there were 455 burglaries in the county alone.