(Jason Howerton) -- A 92-year-old World War II veteran shot and killed a suspected robber who attempted to break into his Kentucky home Monday morning. Two other men believed to be involved in the botched home invasion are lucky to have escaped with their lives and are now behind bars, WLWT reports.
According to police, 24-year-old Lloyd Maxwell broke into the elderly man’s basement after 2 a.m. and tried to enter the first floor of the home in Verona, Ky. The homeowner, identified as Earl Jones, said he was startled awake by the noise coming from his basement and grabbed his .22 caliber rifle and steadied his aim on the basement door as he heard the sound of footsteps creeping up the basement stairs.
When the intruder kicked in the door, Jones fired one fatal shot into Maxwell’s chest, police said. After firing the single shot, the homeowner called his neighbor, who then contacted the police.
By the time police arrived, the burglary suspect had gotten away. However, soon after arriving at Jones’ home, law enforcement in a nearby county received a call about a man who had been shot close by. Kenton County police responded to the call and found Maxwell dead inside a 2011 Chevrolet Impala with two other unharmed men.
The other two men were brought in for questioning by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. During the interrogation, police say both men admitted to being involved in the bungled burglary at Jones’ home.
Ryan Dalton, 22 and Donnie Inabnit, 20, both of Dry Ridge, Ky., are charged with second-degree burglary (complicity) and tampering with physical evidence, WLWT reports.
“Somebody got into the basement, this is a full basement and I was on the bed fixing to go to bed,” Jones told WPCO. “And I’m very sensitive, I was in the military, you have to have good ears. And I heard something just as I sat down, ‘clonk, clonk, clonk,‘ and I said well somebody is in the basement and he’s going to come upstairs. So I heard him when he was coming up the steps, I had the gun so I was sitting there when he opened the door.”
“As soon as he got inside, it was all over,” the veteran added.
Jones told officials that Monday morning’s incident was the third time his home has been broken into, WPCO reports. He said Monday morning’s incident should serve as a warning to any future robbers who want to target him.
“I’ve been robbed so much in the past five weeks, I said it’s going to have to be a message to the people. The only way you going to stop this is you have to leave one laying in the grass. That‘s the only way you’re [going to] stop it,” Jones said.