It's a scary experience to have your home invaded by a stranger -- one that Steven Hayes knows all too well. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 23, 2011)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011
GLOVERVILLE, S.C. -- "The floor right here is what woke me up," said Steven Hayes as he walked across a creaky part in his floor.
It woke him up because a stranger was walking across it Tuesday morning after breaking into Hayes' house.
Hayes gave two quick pumps of his shotgun and "He was out the back door."
It was the sound of the gun that startled the intruder. Hayes says the gun saved his life.
"If I wouldn't have had that gun, he could have shot me in the back when I was sleeping," he said.
Hayes said the intruder did have a gun, but instead of Hayes taking a shot in the back, he took one at the intruder.
"Shooting at him didn't scare me," he said. "What scared me was him pointing that gun at me."
Deputies say when you feel scared in your home, you can fight back.
"If people are coming in your residence and you feel like you're threatened and your family members are threatened, then you may use deadly force at that time," said Sgt. Jason Feemster with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say it gets hazy when it comes to defending your property when someone has not entered your home, but Hayes says he'll do whatever it takes to stay safe.
"A man comes in my house pointing a gun at me -- I'm going to defend it," he said.
Hayes has the right to do so, but deputies ask you to use that right carefully.
"When I say you can use deadly force I would say you should use deadly force if deadly force is brought towards you," Feemster said.
If Hayes has to deal with this again, he says the bad guy won't be so lucky.
"Anybody breaks in my house again I promise you I'm going to shoot to kill," he said. "I will defend my house no matter the cost."