79-year-old man shoots, kills would-be robber: ‘I hate that boy dead, but I don’t hate I shot him’

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CENTER POINT, Ala. -- A 79-year-old Alabama man whose home had been broken into 13 times in less than a year had enough of the burglaries and shot a would-be robber Wednesday morning.

John Croft has lived in his home for 21 years, WBRC reports. Until last June, he felt safe in his house -- at least until the burglaries began.

“I’ve been a prisoner in my house,” he said.

Around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, Croft was in bed when he heard two suspects open the basement window and make their way toward his bedroom. Another person was driving the getaway car and waiting outside.

“I have three bedrooms. I think they checked the other two bedrooms out and then he came over there and said, 'Don't move!' He heard the bed squeak. I was getting my gun. He said, 'Don't move' and he used the ‘N’ word and I shot. I hate that boy dead, but I don't hate I shot him,” Croft told the station.

Officials say Croft was acting in self-defense, but he now fights with the reality that he killed someone.

“I just hate to meet his mother because it was a teen.  And there's nothing as precious to a mom as a son. And you know what's been happening to black boys today. For another black man to shoot one don't look good. But like I say, I had no choice,” he said.

The name of the suspect who was killed has not been identified.

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