Teen breaks into neighbor's house, ends up shot

By: Kate Tillotson Email
By: Kate Tillotson Email

April 26, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---He broke into her home...so she shot him.

19-year-old Justin "Brent" Haynie was arrested this morning for breaking into the home of his Lexington Drive neighbor, Theresa Wachowiak.

The 56-year-old woman shot him before he escaped, and he survived.

It was a burglary gone bad for Haynie. Little did he know his target was within arms reach of a revolver.

"Terrible. Scary, really," said neighbor Joann Hatchell. "I looked and this guy was sitting here and I didn't recognize him."

19-year-old Justin "Brent" Haynie was slumped over Hatchell's picnic table. He'd been shot.

"I said, 'Oh my God, that's Mary's grandson'," Hatchell told News 12.

The young man lived next door and often helped Hatchell with yard work, which is why she never imagined he'd break into the home of another neighbor, 56-year-old Theresa Wachowiak.

Woken up at 3:30 a-m, Wachowiak was startled by the intruder.

"She was initially, but she's a strong lady," said Sgt. Calvin Chew of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Chew says what she did next may have saved her life: "She had a gun in her nightstand, and she was able to retrieve the gun during the assault and ended up shooting the suspect."

Shot in the chest, Haynie then left, leaving a bloody trail to Hatchell's yard.

News 12 found Haynie's cousin, Patrick, who didn't want his face shown on TV.

"I think that I'm glad he's still living, but maybe it'll make him not do some of the things he's done," Patrick Haynie said.

Hatchell, whose morning was unlike any other in her lifetime, fears what could have happened.

"Do you own a gun, and if not, do you want one now?" we asked her.

"Yes. I would love to have a gun," she said. "I'm telling you, you're not safe anymore."

Brent Haynie is still recovering from that gunshot. He faces several charges, including burglary, aggravated assault, kidnapping and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

We're told relatives have not been allowed to visit Haynie in the hospital because he's been placed under arrest.

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  • by Chauson Location: AUgusta on May 4, 2008 at 07:38 PM
    Unfortunately he was not killed. I live in Augusta and as tax payers we get to pay for him to stay in prison when it would have been more cost effective for him to just die. That is why I believe in high powered pistols.
  • by Wanda Location: New Ellenton on Apr 30, 2007 at 10:13 AM
    Thank you for reporting this. Most Media seem to avoid stories where guns saved lives. I am looking for more stories where guns helped innocent people live. If you know of any feel free to e-mail me with a news link.
  • by Larry Location: St. Matthews, SC on Apr 28, 2007 at 12:21 PM
    After the horrific events at Virginia Tech, anti-gun advocates are once again using a tragedy to call for the disarming of the American people. I wonder if Ms. Wachowiak would agree with them.
  • by Gladly Location: Hephzibah on Apr 27, 2007 at 05:22 AM
    I'm glad he was shot and lived to suffer to remind him to perhaps think before he gets the urge to do something stupid again.It is so disgusting to have to live in fear of someone coming into your home to do harm to innocent people.I say stick it to him when he gets out of the hospital,and don't cut him any slack.
  • by Richard Gaines Location: Sandy Springs,GA on Apr 26, 2007 at 07:54 PM
    Hatchell should be given a BIG community award.Such action is WHY IT IS IMPORTANT to retain our LEGAL RIGHT to own protective firearms.Well and truly done Ms Hatchell !
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