87-Year-Old Woman Kills Intruder After Second Break-In
By Randy Jackson
KSDK-Detectives converged on the home 87-year-old Jacksie King has lived in since she was 8 years old.
About 2 a.m. Tuesday, say police, an intruder cut her phone lines and removed security bars from a window, climbing inside the porch.
King, standing on the other side of her locked door, made a 38-caliber decision.
"She fired a pistol through the door to prevent the entry of this unknown person, struck him, and he died at the scene," said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. James Morrisey.
Illinois State Police identified the suspect as 49 year-old Larry D. Tillman, of East St. Louis.
He has a criminal history of robbery and residential burglaries.
Family members say King spent most of the night locked in her home until her daughter showed up to check on her mother.
"When I walked in, she informed me there was a gun laying on the table. I asked her why. She said, 'We had guests last night.' She said, 'Go to the front door and see,'" said Pamela Paulette-Clark, King's daughter.
Last December, an intruder broke into King's home by removing the same security bars and cutting the same phone lines. King's daughter says her mother wasn't about to sustain the same injuries she did last time.
"She had some internal bleeding, she had a lot of bruises and very severe black eyes, a swollen face," said Paulette-King.
And it was her daughter who taught the 87 year-old how to defend herself.
"She had a .25 caliber, I brought a .38 caliber over and loaded it with hollow points and gave her instructions on how to use it, because my husband and I are both St. Clair County reserve deputies," said Paulette-Clark.
While investigators want to find out if Tillman is the same man who broke in, robbed, and beat King 2 months ago, her family is relieved she was able to protect herself.
"We hate it for the victim and his family, but I'm glad my mother is OK," said King's daughter.
Prosecutors were reviewing the case, but officials said charges were not expected.