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Armed, violent intruder fatally shot by intended victim

Originally ran here as:
"Armed intruder fatally shot inside South Side home"
The man has not been charged in the shooting. Police said they think he acted in self-defense.

Friday, June 8, 2001

Dean Narciso, Columbus Dispatch Police Reporter

An armed man who allegedly forced his way into a South Side home late Wednesday night found a bounty of cash inside, but was shot to death by one of the occupants before he could escape.

"I tried to close the door on him, but he burst his way in,'' said Lashunda Taylor, who answered the door just before 11:30 p.m. "He was mad like he was ready to do anything, kill anybody.''

The alleged intruder died in an upstairs bedroom within 10 minutes of being shot by Charles Daniels Sr., 46, who had been visiting his 7-year-old son and was with him in another bedroom, Taylor said.

Police had been unable to identify the shooting victim last night.

Taylor was in the rear kitchen of 1718 S. 20th St., Apt. A, when the doorbell rang.

"He said he was either looking for someone named Tony or was Tony,'' said Lashunda Taylor's sister, Tina Taylor, 17, who was standing nearby. "His voice changed pitch a couple of times'' before he broke in, she said.

About the same time, another man, whom the sisters recognized from their neighborhood in the Lincoln Park apartments, came through the backdoor, but he left quickly when he saw them.

Lashunda Taylor said the gunman grabbed her by the collar, forced her upstairs, repeatedly demanded money and jewelry, and threatened to shoot her.

She said she led him to the only money she knew of -- almost $6,000 in $100, $50 and $10 bills rolled with rubber bands that was stashed under a blanket inside Tina Taylor's closet.

As he finished stuffing the rolls into his denim jacket, the man began to turn toward the door when he was shot by Daniels, Lashunda Taylor said.

The money was from a tax refund and family savings, and was to be used as a down payment for a house, car and birthday party Monday for Tina Taylor's nearly 3-year- old daughter, Maya, who also was in the home, the sisters said.

Police officials think the shooting was in self-defense, but will let a Franklin County Grand Jury decide.

Daniels, who has not been charged, declined interview requests.

"Generally speaking, the courts have ruled that people have a right to protect themselves from serious physical harm or death,'' said Sgt. Earl Smith, police spokesman. "But there are some constraints -- you can't just execute someone.

"You'd have to assume that someone coming into an occupied structure with a gun . . . at least has a willingness to hurt you.''

Neighbors said the public-housing complex, operated by the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, has its problems.

"There are a lot of people who don't live 'round here who are drug dealers,'' said Mubarak Zaien, 54, a native of Sudan who moved to the U.S. and into the complex three years ago.

Housing officials hailed the complex as a success after its refurbishment a few years ago.

"This is a law-abiding community but for a microscopic few who may be involved in unsavory commerce,'' said Khari Enaharo, spokesman for the housing authority. "But in no way does it impugn the integrity of the community.''

Lashunda Taylor, meanwhile, won't open the door anytime soon for a stranger.

"It's scary. I wouldn't want to go through anything like that again.''

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