An 82-year-old Vietnam veteran killed an armed intruder that broke into his South Carolina home last week, using the butt of a wall-mounted shotgun to stop the man’s violent attack.
Herbert Parrish and his 79-year-old wife Lois Parrish were at home in Aiken County on February 15 when a stranger, 61-year-old Harold Runnels, came to the back door around 2 p.m.
“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 didn’t,” said Mrs. Parrish.
When she attempted to close the door, Runnels pushed his way inside, pulled out a large knife, and knocked Mrs. Parrish to the ground, cutting her forehead.
Herbert Parrish responded by grabbing an unloaded shotgun that he kept on the wall, proceeding to hit Runnels in the head with the butt end of it.
“He was not going to go out that door and leave us alive,” said Mr. Parrish. “That’s the way I felt. That’s why I said, I’ve got to do something quick and get the edge on him. Get the advantage on him.”
The veteran said he “hit him at least ten times right in the face, just as hard as I could hit him.”
Runnels was knocked out by the assault and driven to the hospital by authorities, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The Parrishes were treated for minor injuries, but are expected to recover fully.