LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An 80-year-old California man who told a television station he shot to death a fleeing intruder even though she begged for her life and said she was pregnant was under investigation by police on Thursday in connection with the slaying.
Police have released few details about the Tuesday night shooting in the middle-class Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, south of Los Angeles. A police spokeswoman said on Thursday detectives are still investigating and have not made any arrests.
Tom Greer, 80, told Los Angeles television station KNBC that he is the Bixby Knolls resident who shot the woman, striking her twice in the back just outside his house as she was running away.
“She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant, I’m going to have a baby,’ and I shot her anyway,” Greer told KNBC on Wednesday.
Greer came home and found a man and a woman had broken in, he told the station. The two unarmed intruders tackled him in the hallway, breaking his collarbone, said Greer, whose arm was in a sling as he spoke to a KNBC reporter in his driveway.
Greer told KNBC that as the intruders were trying to open his safe, he told the man to look for a tool in his garage and while the pair were distracted, he retrieved his .22 caliber revolver.
Greer also told the station the couple, after seeing him with the handgun, ran out of the house and that he followed them and opened fire, striking the woman.
A coroner’s spokesman could not be reached for comment about any possible findings from an examination of the woman’s body.
“What we believe happened at this time is that a resident came home and possibly interrupted a crime in progress and at some point in time there was a shooting that took place and we have a suspect of that original crime deceased,” Long Beach Deputy Police Chief David Hendricks told reporters on Wednesday.
Greer, when asked by a KNBC reporter if he had any regrets about the shooting, said he did not.
“None whatsoever, and I’ve never (before) in my life shot anybody, killed anybody,” Greer told the station. “I’m a good Christian, I just, when the time comes to defend yourself you best do something.”
(Editing by Eric Walsh)