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3rd Attacker In A Week Meets Match

For the third time this week a would-be victim in Tampa turned the tables on an attacker.

Late Thursday night, the 63-year-old victim of an attempted carjacking pulled a .357-caliber Magnum on his assailant and fired, critically wounding him, officials said.

The victim of the attempted carjacking, Benjamin Lee Tate, is no stranger to intruders at Engine Rebuild Specialists, 6214 E. Columbus Drive, his east Tampa business. Tate's forceful retaliation Thursday was his third in three years, Tampa police Capt. Bob Guidara said.

Tate shot two burglars - one in 2000 and another in February, Guidara said. Both suspects survived. No charges have been filed against Tate, whose business is in a high- crime area in east Tampa, Guidara said.

``He definitely hasn't had much luck, being targeted as many times as he has,'' Guidara said.

``I'm not looking for trouble,'' Tate said.

``I'm just here doing my job.''

Police said Tate was changing oil in a car at the shop about 11:30 p.m. Thursday when a man approached.

With his hand behind him as though he had a gun, the man said he would shoot Tate if he didn't hand over car keys and cash, police said. Tate shot him instead.

Michael E. Garner, a 31- year-old roofer who has a prison record for theft and drug convictions, was taken to Tampa General Hospital, police said.

He remained in critical condition Friday, Guidara said, but the wound did not appear to be life threatening.

Garner, of 6229 E. Eugene Ave., had a knife concealed under his belt, police said. He is expected to be charged with attempted carjacking, attempted armed robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, police said.

In February 2001, Garner was sentenced to more than a year in prison for grand theft, criminal mischief and drug possession.

He was released in December 2001, records show.

Tate's incident is the third this week in Tampa in which victims retaliated or outsmarted attackers.

On Wednesday night, outside his downtown Thai restaurant, Lawrence Storer, 33, was approached by a gunman who demanded money, police said. Storer led the robber into the Sumos Thai Cafe where he retrieved cash. While the gunman, identified as Shantavious Wilson, 24, was in the restaurant, Storer ran and called 911 from his cell phone, police said.

Wilson pointed the gun at Storer, who eventually got back in his Ford Explorer and ran Wilson over, killing him, police said. Prosecutors are reviewing the case.

Late Tuesday night, two Carrollwood women outwitted a man who broke into their house and threatened them with a sawed-off shotgun, officials said.

Cathy Ord, 60, and her roommate, Rose Bucher, 63, disarmed the man with kindness.

They fed him a ham sandwich, complete with pickles, and served up a bottle of spiced rum.

They even offered him their shower and a disposable razor to shave. After several hours, Alfred Joseph Sweet, 42, passed out and Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were called to remove him from the home, officials said.

Reporter Keith Morelli can be reached at (813) 885-6973.

Another crime victim takes matters into his own hands

Tampa - Tampa police say a crime victim may have taken matters in his own hands.

Investigators say Michael Garner tried to rob the owner of Engine Rebuild Specialists on Columbus Drive in Tampa. The owner, Benjamin Lee Tate, fought back by shooting him in the chest. Garner is in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. He has been charged with attempted car jacking and attempted armed robbery.

Michael Garner
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Tampa Police say they believe Tate was justified in shooting Garner, but they're still investigating. This is the third time he has shot at someone trying to rob him.
Woman shoots her alleged carjacker in New Orleans
October 25, 2003
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A homeless man remained in intensive care Friday after he allegedly tried to carjack a woman but was foiled when she pulled a gun and shot him twice in the chest.

Thorlief Thorbjornsen, 42, allegedly approached the woman in a parking lot at about 5 p.m. Thursday in the central business district, near federal and state courthouses.

The woman, 32, told police that Thorbjornsen indicated he had a handgun and demanded she get out of her Jeep Cherokee. She reached into the center console of her Jeep, pulled out a 9 mm pistol and shot Thorbjornsen twice in the torso, said Capt. Marlon Defillo, a police spokesman.

Thorbjornsen did not have a weapon.

Defillo said police will not book the woman but as a formality will turn the case over to the district attorney’s office for review.

When Thorbjornsen is released from the hospital, he will be arrested and booked with attempted carjacking, Defillo said.

MS: Break-ins prompt some in city to take up arms

Jeremy Hudson
The Clarion-LedgerUse of deadly force hot topic after two homeowners kill intruders in two monthsGeorge McNeece didn't have time to grab his shotgun when three men rushed into his south Jackson home a week ago, stuck a gun in his face and demanded his car keys.

The 83-year-old Longwood Drive resident handed over the keys to his 1994 Mercury and didn't try to resist the gunmen. Even if he would have had time to grab a gun, though, he wouldn't have shot them.

"I would hate to know I killed a man for a car, I know that," McNeece said Thursday.

Cornell Hattix, however, said shooting a robber or burglar inside his home wouldn't bother the 58-year-old Woodward Avenue resident.

"Things aren't going to get any better until we drop some of them over here," Hattix said. "People are sleeping with loaded guns right beside them. And I'm one of them."

Residents' use of deadly force to defend their homes has been debated in the wake of two Jackson homeowners gunning down two burglars in less than two months.

The most recent episode occurred Tuesday when Christopher Stiff, 31, was shot twice by Tommy Christian, 53. Stiff had just pried open the back door to Christian's Floral Drive home, police said.

In September, Sinartha Bradfield, 31, of 1807 Linda Lane, fired a shotgun blast through his bedroom window when he heard glass in the window being broken out, police said. The blast killed Anthony Mayers, 31, of 304 Jennings St.

Both Mayers and Stiff had lengthy criminal histories, police said.

Both cases will be presented to a Hinds County grand jury to determine if the homeowners should be charged.

Hattix, who recently spearheaded the formation of a neighborhood watch group, cited the 2,154 house burglaries in Jackson this year as cause for him to bear arms. By forming the neighborhood group and staying in contact with officers, he said he's done all the Jackson Police Department has suggested to him.

"The only thing I can to do is try to protect myself and my family," Hattix said. "I used to put my shotgun up after hunting season, but I've started sleeping with it by my bed since my neighbor was almost broken into last week."

Jackson State University criminologist Jimmy Bell said he thinks people like Hattix are rare in that residents aren't propping a gun next to their nightstands in anticipation of pending danger. Bell also said he considers the two fatal shootings of burglars isolated incidents of people reacting out of fear.

"I don't think it is going to give burglars a reason to think twice, because burglars aren't organized enough to anticipate which house might have the potential to fight back with the use of firearms," Bell said. "Burglars are going to randomly pick homes they feel are the easiest target to them, which usually is an unoccupied house. Sometimes, they guess wrong."

Jackson police spokesman Robert Graham said it's best that residents call 911 when faced with a dangerous situation, but the law allows for people to protect themselves and their property.

"We can't give a blanket statement on what a person should do in the situation where someone has come into their home, because every situation is different," Graham said. "What may be a good option under one circumstance, may not be a good option under another set of circumstances."

Alan Lange, a Highland Circle resident in Jackson, said he'd rather have a gun, rather than not have one.

"Nobody relishes the thought of actually having to shoot someone, but the way I look at it, a gun is like a parachute," Lange said. "You better hope you have it when you need it."

The potential for mental distress can be a great burden on a homeowner who shoots and kills a burglar, said Ron Drabman, professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

"It really depends on the person, though," Drabman said. "Some will carry the good feeling that they protected themselves and their family. Others will second guess themselves because they think there could have been another way to handle it."

Those who second-guess themselves, Drabman said, have a greater propensity for developing post-traumatic-stress syndrome.

Hattix doesn't think he would be among the second-guessers, though.

"I've got my wife and my granddaughter here," Hattix said. "I'm going to protect them any way I can. I would never doubt myself for protecting my family. They are why I keep a shotgun, not a handgun. I don't want to miss."

Woman shoots Rottweilers after they attack llamas

EVANSVILLE, Minn. - When Kim Fedje went to check on her livestock she didn't fully load her rifle because she didn't think she'd need it. She was wrong.

Fedje was getting ready for work earlier this month when she heard dogs barking on her western Minnesota property. Her fiance told her to take the .22 when she checked on the farm animals.

"I only put in about 10 shells but am not sure because I wasn't counting and didn't expect anything to be wrong," Kim said.

Fedje first checked the animals in the barn, then headed to the pasture shared with her neighbors. There, she said, she saw her neighbor's herd of llamas clustered in a tight circle. Llamas only stand in such a circle to fight off predators, Fedje said.

"I yelled, 'Here, llamas!'," she said.

Instead of llamas, she got big dogs - a pair of charging Rottweilers.

"I thought 'Run!' and at the same time knew that if I ran I would be dead," Fedje said. "I aimed my .22 and started firing."

The first three rounds missed. The next killed one dog at about 20 feet. The next, her last round, wounded the other dog.

Her fiance reloaded the rifle, found the wounded dog and killed it.

With the dogs no longer a threat, they checked the llama herd. All 13 animals had been attacked; nine required stitches, and one had a hamstring ripped out, Fedje said.

"The whole herd is ruined," said Joni Neal, owner of the llamas.

Douglas County prosecutors referred the investigation to Alexandria city prosecutors because one of the owners of the dogs is a department head with the county. That owner, Paula Carpenter, director of the land and resource management office, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment from The Associated Press.

12 posted on 12/20/2003 8:28:47 PM PST by Coleus (God is Pro-Life & Straight & gave us an innate predisposition for protection and self preservation)
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To: Coleus
Douglas County prosecutors referred the investigation to Alexandria city prosecutors because one of the owners of the dogs is a department head with the county. That owner, Paula Carpenter, director of the land and resource management office, Oops! Get your wallet out Paula!
14 posted on 12/21/2003 1:07:31 PM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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