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'It's You Or Him'; Elderly Homeowner Shoots One Of Three Would-Be Robbers During Attempted Home Invasion

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 78-year-old man turned the tables on would-be robbers in the Belmont Central neighborhood Monday evening, shooting one of three men who tried to break into his home with a crowbar.

The homeowner, who asked to remain anonymous, said he saw three men using a crowbar to try to get inside his home near Merrimac and Schubert Avenues around sunset Monday night.

"I was in fear for my life," the homeowner said.

When the homeowner opened the door after hearing a noise, one man trying to break in raised the crowbar to smash the glass. The homeowner shot one of the would-be robbers through the storm door.

"That was a tough decision. It's not like going hunting. It's hard to shoot a human and not think about it. It's going to stay with me the rest of my life, what happened. You hate to do something like that, but like the police said, it's you or him," the homeowner said. "I didn't feel good doing that, but he would have gotten me with that crowbar. If I get hit with something like a baseball bat, or a crowbar, you ain't gonna make it."

Police said that man who was shot limped away from the scene, and the other two got away in a red Dodge Caravan.

The homeowner said he believes the same three men posed as repairmen offering to repair his concrete steps and sidewalk earlier in the day, repeatedly asking him to let them inside his house to get water.

"The first time he came was afternoon, about 4:30, 5 o'clock, and he said 'I want to fix your cement, but I've got to get in the house to get water.' When I heard that, I said, no. He wants to get in the house to get at me, you know, attack me, and I said 'I don't want nobody in the house,'" he said. "He should have never came back."

He said he's not worried the same guys might try to come back again.

"I doubt it. Not when he knows that he's got trouble on his hands, too," he said.

Police said the homeowner has a valid Firearm Owner's Identification card.

No one was in custody as of Tuesday morning. Area North detectives were investigating.

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