The man who shot and killed a burglar over the weekend is speaking out exclusively to News 3. Paul Witte says his instincts took over when he saw a man coming at him with a gun in his own home.
Witte says he didn't know at the time that the gun was actually a pellet gun and he reacted as quickly as he could to save his life.
Paul Witte says he knew right away someone was in his house last Sunday. After unlocking a lock he never bolts, he spotted his laptop and other possessions piled in a suitcase on his living room floor.
"I have a philosophy," Witte told News 3. "A little paranoia is better than a lot dead. So I pulled my weapon; I chambered a round
Witte, who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, walked towards the back of his trailer. That's when he says a man came out of the back bedroom pointing a pistol at him with both hands. "He comes around the corner at speed, pistol leading and bop, bop, bop."
The man would later be identified as 42-year-old Mark Vains.
"Once I saw the weapon - there isn't a thought process. If there's a thought process you're in the morgue instead of him."
Witte says the pellet gun was a replica of a 45 caliber handgun. He says he didn't know it wasn't a real gun until officers told him. Now that the knows, he says that regardless, Vains never should have been in his home in the first place.
"I didn't create the situation. I reacted to his actions. I have no remorse about that whatsoever."
Vains has a criminal record that stretches back to 1992. It includes multiple burglary, auto theft, and receiving stolen property charges.
As to why Vains picked his house, Witte says he doesn't have a clue. "The landlord is a nice guy and we only pay $625 a month, but it's a dump. You know if you're going to hit a house this isn't where you're going to find thousands of dollars."
Homicide detectives call the situation "clean shoot" and say they don't expect the D.A.'s office to file charges.