WAKE FOREST, N.C. — An 89-year-old man says he shot and killed his tenant over what he says started over a fight about a busted air conditioner.
Deputies responded to a shooting around 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of Jordan Lane in Wake Forest.
They found 47-year-old Jeff Mitchell dead and the man behind the trigger, 89-year-old Calvin Ray, Sr, WTVD reported.
“It was something I had to do to protect my own life,” said Ray.
He says his tenant of one year, Mitchell had complained Friday about his air conditioner breaking down. Ray says he sent over a repairman on Saturday but had heard Mitchell and the repairman argued.
Ray said Mitchell came up to his house angry, so he went to get his gun to defend himself.
“I’m almost 90 years old and I don’t have much strength, I can’t do much to defend myself,” said Ray, “He kicked the damn thing in and when he did he started toward me, that’s when I shot him. He backed up and fell on the floor.”
Ray says even though Mitchell had threatened to kill him twice before, he describes him as a good tenant and a hard working father — and that he is sorry this happened.
While Ray claims self-defense, the Wake County Sheriff’s Department has yet to confirm that.
Under North Carolina’s ‘Castle Doctrine’, if the shooting happened how Ray says it happened, then he would have had the right to use deadly force. Police are continuing to investigate.