Neighbors support homeowner who shot intruder

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

May 3, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Neighbors of Army Cpt. Barre Bollinger say he had the right to protect himself after an intruder broke into his home and stole his property.

Bollinger shot 29-year-old Errol Royal at least twice in the stomach. Royal later died.

Under the Stand Your Ground law in Georgia, the soldier won't face any charges...and some of his neighbors say he shouldn't anyway, because he was protecting what's rightfully his.

"I can't understand even the first time," said Bollinger's neighbor Dilbert Lloyd. "All it is, is somebody out there that don't have a job, and don't want to get up and go to work, and take what other people have worked so hard in their life and struggled for."

Dilbert describes the young Army officer as a hardworking, peaceful neighbor who takes pride in his property.

"I've seen him work continuously in his yard, and landscaping, because it is a nice neighborhood and we all want to keep it that way."

That's one of the reasons Dilbert believes his neighbor was justified in shooting 29-year-old Errol Royal.

Investigators say Royal burglarized the young Army officer's home yesterday, and then returned to the home in an attempt to steal more items. Tthat's when Bollinger shot him with a semi-automatic rifle.

"I tell my son and daughter and wife, 'Always be aware of your surroundings, because you don't know what is going to happen'," Dilbert said.

"I think anybody would react the same way to protect themselves, their family or their property," said Bruce Burns.

Bruce, Erica and Zoey burns just moved to the area. While the family is shocked that this happened so close to them, they say anyone in the neighborhood could have been the target.

"We just moved here," Bruce said. "Everyone seems real nice, so I don't think we regret moving here. It could happen anywhere."

"I think it's a good neighborhood regardless," said Erica. "Bad things happen anywhere."

Because it could have happened anywhere, Dilbert Lloyd has this message for Barre Bollinger.

"Keep the strength up. What you did is right to protect your property and yourself, because you didn't know what the outcome was going to be. And God bless you and good will to you."

Police searched Royal's home on Ramblewood Drive after the shooting and found two of Bollinger's guns.

The Stand Your Ground law is a statute that allows the use of deadly force to defend against forcible unlawful entry or attack. These bills significantly expand the boundaries of legal self-defense by eliminating a person's "duty to retreat" from an invader or assailant in certain cases.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jason Location: arizona on Mar 22, 2010 at 09:33 PM
    No sympathy for burgalers. bad things happen to bad people.
  • by jasmine Location: augusta on Sep 9, 2009 at 04:04 PM
    don't ever comment on here he was my father do you people have ANY sympathy
  • by jason Location: arizona on Oct 2, 2008 at 09:11 PM
    I knew Cpt. Bollinger personally while serving in the Army in the early 90's. I remember him as a kind person.
  • by Jasmine Royal Location: augusta on May 23, 2008 at 11:39 PM
    Errol Was MY father And I will miss him alot i loved him so muchh but some selfish ppl do selfish things, i wish that man knew my dad wouldnt even hurt a fly!ill miss you royalty(daddya) ♥ill ♥him 4 ever!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Michael Location: Louisiana on Jan 30, 2008 at 07:36 AM
    Medina, Sorry about your friend however soldiers aren't trained to shoot in the leg, that's the chance your cowardly friend took in attempting to steal from someone.
  • by Medina Location: Harrisburg on May 22, 2007 at 11:49 AM
    Royal was a friend of mine, I feel Cpt Bollinger could have shot him in the leg or something but I'm not condoning what Royal did, what I am thinking about is the kids and family Royal left behind, my prayers go out to all his family and may his soul rest in peace
  • by Kasia Richardson Location: hartford, ct on May 17, 2007 at 11:42 AM
    i will deeply miss my cousin and my heart goes out to my aunt and family.
  • by Shani Richardson Location: Bloomfield Ct on May 14, 2007 at 10:17 AM
    A terrible tragedy I will never get over my best to my auntie. i will miss my cousin deeply
  • by ASHIA Location: HEPHZIBAH on May 4, 2007 at 09:13 PM
    FIRST I WANT TO SAY THAT MY PRAYS GO OUT TO BOTH FAMILY'S. TWO LIVES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. EVEN THOUGHT I DID NOT KNOW CPT BOLLINGER I DO NOT FEEL THAT HE WAS WRONG. HE WAS JUST PROTECTING HIMSELF AND HIS HOME. I DO FEEL SAD THAT SOMEONE HAD TO DIED, BUT PEPOLE NEED TO LEARN TO WORK HARD FOR THE THINGS THAT THEY WANT. MR ROYAL WAS AN OLD TIME FRIEND OF MINE BUT I AM SORRY TO SAY THAT HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED. HE WILL BE MISSED. I PRAY FOR BOTH FAMILY.
  • by Terry Location: homemaker on May 4, 2007 at 09:43 AM
    If the thieves in the night at my old place had known what a good shot I am (award-winning), she and her husband would never have trespassed over here and stole from us and killed our pet. She has no idea how lucky she is, because I didn't advertise my shooting abilities or that I was armed. Instead, my children and I moved at our first opportunity, only to find similar problems in our "safer" neighborhood. Captain Bollinger did what he had to do. It's very telling that he goes to Iraq and comes back unscathed, yet finds his life and property in jeopardy in his own home in Richmond County. This is what our government needs to be concentrating on, not the petty squabbling going on now. The Captain probably never dreamed he would be forced to shoot someone in his own home. Thieves need to be reminded their actions could have deadly consequences.
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