Authorities in Georgia are searching for two suspects in a home invasion in which a woman opened fire on armed intruders — swapping gunfire with them, then fatally shooting a third suspect in self-defense, police said.
Surveillance video released by the Gwinnett County Police Department shows the incident unfold in the early morning hours Sept. 16 when authorities said at least three intruders broke into an Atlanta-area home. A woman, who has not been publicly identified by police, appears to emerge from a bedroom still wearing her pajamas, shooting at the suspects running from the gun-smoke-filled scene.
“She has every right to defend herself,” Gwinnett County Police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera told The Washington Post in an email. “She is to be commended for not only saving her life, but also the life of her roommate.”
The woman, a business owner in the restaurant industry, told police that about 4 a.m. she and a male housemate heard a possible intruder, so she pulled a handgun and went to search the home, police said in a statement.
Police said she saw three men — who were armed — walking through the front door during what police think was an attempted robbery. She fired multiple rounds, police said, striking 28-year-old Antonio Leeks, who died of his injuries.
The two other suspects fled from the scene. Police described the two men, who are estimated to be about 20 to 30 years old, as “armed and dangerous,” and are asking for public’s assistance in finding them.
“We want to get these people off the streets as quickly as possible,” Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Deon Washington told CBS affiliate WGCL. “As you’ll see, they are very, very dangerous individuals who are very bold and brazen.”
Washington told ABC affiliate WSB-TV, “It’s not common that we receive this caliber of surveillance video showing the crime unfold, an actual home invasion.”
He said that because the suspects did not have their faces covered “we’re highly anticipating someone watching the evening newscast will recognize these people.”
No criminal charges were expected against the woman.
“She exercised her right to defend her livelihood and property,” Washington told WSB-TV.