Home News Report: Elderly Veteran Kills Home Intruder Who Attacked His Wife

Report: Elderly Veteran Kills Home Intruder Who Attacked His Wife

by Laura Steinberg

Late South Carolina resident Harold Runnels forced his way into the wrong house on Monday afternoon. Just because the owners were an elderly couple didn’t mean they were helpless. 82-year-old Vietnam veteran Herbert Parrish grabbed his trusty shotgun and ran to the rescue of his wounded wife. He beat the intruder to death with it.

Veteran fights back

An elderly South Carolina couple made headlines after defending their castle with their second amendment rights. Nobody fired a shot. Vietnam War veteran Herbert Parrish and his 79-year-old wife, Lois, were inside their suburban home around 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon when they got an unusual knock at their back door. Lois answered it.

“I opened the door and he said he was looking for his little white chihuahua and wanted to know if I saw it. I told him no, I hadn’t.”

She didn’t get the door closed quite fast enough. According to police, as she tried to close the door, 61-year-old Harold Runnels “forced his way inside the house.” He had a knife. Investigators confirm he “pulled out a large knife and began attacking her.”

The veteran assessed the situation in an instant. “I felt, we’re gone. He’s going to kill us and take what he can take. He was not going to go out that door and leave us alive. That’s the way I felt.”

After surviving the jungles of Vietnam, the veteran wasn’t about to lose the battle for his living room. Local news reports “he wasn’t going to go down without a fight.”

He told the press he knew he had “to do something quick and get the edge on him, get the advantage on him.” Thinking quick, he “grabbed a hold of a shotgun he had hanging on his wall by the door.” It wasn’t loaded but that didn’t matter.

Harold Runnels forced his way into the wrong house.

Hitting him in the head

The vengeful veteran went on the offensive, charging the intruder down and beating him unconscious using the weapon as a club.

“I started hitting him in the head with the barrel and I know I must have hit him at least ten times right in the face, just as hard as I could hit him.”

Police arrived on the scene and carried away the unconscious burglar to a nearby hospital but he “died later that night from his injuries.”

Both the veteran and his wife were injured in the vicious and unprovoked attack. They are both expected to recover fully. They recognized the deceased “as someone who lived nearby.” Lois “recalled seeing him walking in the neighborhood before.”

Before Runnels went into the home invasion racket and decided to pick the wrong veteran as a target, he had been spotted acting suspicious in the vicinity.

As one neighbor relates, “she called police on Runnels several months prior because he was walking around the neighborhood looking suspicious.” He won’t be doing that anymore.

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