Arthur Williams is 75 years old and blind, but still managed to shoot an intruder who broke into his southeast Gainesville home early Friday. Cevaughn Curtis Jr., 28, of Gainesville allegedly forced his way into Williams' home before being shot in the neck. Curtis was taken to Shands at the University of Florida and was listed in stable condition Friday afternoon.
Curtis came to Williams' door about 3 a.m. and asked to be let in, according to Gainesville police. When Williams refused, Curtis allegedly pushed his way into the house. Williams then fell back into a table, shattering a glass vase. "I don't know what he had in mind to do," Williams said when reached at his home Friday afternoon. "I had to stop him."
Williams said he keeps a .32-caliber revolver to protect himself. After warning the intruder, Williams shot in the man's direction. "I can hear - I backed up and I shot him," he said. "I knew I hit him when he fell." Williams, who had called 911 during the incident, then reported that he had shot the man.
Gainesville Police Lt. Anthony Ferrara said the first officers to arrive at the house found Curtis on the porch. "It appeared he tried to leave the house and collapsed on the porch," Ferrara said. "He had been shot in the left side of the neck." Ferrara said surgeons were trying to determine whether to attempt to remove the bullet or leave it in place because it was so close to Curtis' spine. An update on his status was unavailable late Friday.
Curtis was charged with burglary of an occupied residence and battery on a person over the age of 65, according to police. Florida Department of Corrections records show Curtis was released from state prison in January after serving time for battery. He was on probation for multiple counts of battery and for intimidating a witness.
Williams said he worries about criminal activity in the area, so he keeps his gun close at hand. "I keep my gun on me," he said. "That's my protection - I can't see."
By Nathan Crabbe and Karen Voyles---The Gainsville Sun
Labels: Old Men With Guns, Self Defense