Homeowner save himself and
wife from violent burglar
Originally ran here
Burglar, man trade gunshots
By RON COLQUITT, Mobile
Register Staff Reporter
August 14, 2001
ALABAMA -- Gunfire erupted outside a home in
north Mobile County Monday when a man and his wife surprised two burglars
leaving their daughter's home, authorities said.
Bill Stuckey said when he interrupted the two
men, one of them pointed a pistol at him. It was like "looking the devil in
the eye," he said.
The 57-seven-year old Stuckey said he was lucky
because the man fired over his head.
Stuckey said he returned fire with his
.357-magnum revolver, missing the two men but causing them to flee.
Stuckey's daughter, Elizabeth Stuckey, owns the
house where the 8:30 a.m. burglary occurred. His other daughter, Christina
Stuckey, lives with her sister, but no one was home at the time of the break-in.
Two dozen Mobile County Sheriff's Department
deputies, aided by tracking dogs, arrested Ganester Sales and Julius Riggins,
about three hours later. They were about three miles from the burglarized home
off Lott Road in the 9000 block of Spice Road Extension.
Deputy Chad Tucker said one of the suspects
shot at but missed a deputy when the men were cornered in the wooded area near
Schillinger and Lott roads.
"This is a fine example of what good
teamwork can accomplish," Sheriff Jack Tillman said. The K-9 units involved
in this search proved invaluable, Tillman said. "They amazingly led
deputies to the exact spot where these guys were hiding."
Both of the 22-year-old Prichard men have
extensive arrest records ranging from burglary to receiving stolen property.
Tucker said deputies were investigating to determine whether the suspects may
have committed other burglaries in the county.
Monday night they were in the Mobile County
Metro Jail being held without bond. Riggins was being held on charges of
reckless endangerment, first-degree receiving stolen property and first-degree
burglary. Ganester was being held on charges of first-degree burglary, false
reporting to a law enforcement officer and probation violation.
Tucker said the case remained under
investigation. The pistol one of the suspects fired at Stuckey and the deputy
had not been found, he said.
Christina Stuckey said Friday afternoon that
although the burglars thoroughly searched her home -- going through drawers and
closets and looking under mattresses -- the only thing that was missing was some
jewelry that had not been recovered. The missing jewelry wasn't particularly
valuable, but the pieces were family heirlooms that meant a lot to her, she
Bill Stuckey said he was at his meat packing
business on nearby McCrary Road when one of his daughters' neighbors called and
told him two "suspicious looking" men had been lurking around the
He said he drove to the house, and he saw an
older-model burgundy car when he pulled into the rear driveway.
At that time, Stuckey said, the men stepped out
of the back door and one of them pointed a pistol at him like he was going to
shoot. But, he said, the man changed his mind and fired into the air.
"He had a clear, good shot, and he didn't
take it at me" said Stuckey, who was sitting in his pickup truck with his
wife at the time. "He raised the gun up and shot, and then I let my window
down, raised my pistol as he was starting to move away from the door, and shot
at them twice."
Stuckey said the man was about 20 feet from
"I'm fine. I'm just grateful he didn't
take his first shot; he would have gotten me," Stuckey said. "I was
sitting dead still."
Stuckey said he didn't know what kind of pistol
the man had, but "it was a great big one, it looked like a cannon."
Christina Stuckey said she was just thankful
that the shooter aimed for the sky instead of at her father.
"I'm just more than thankful my parents
were not injured. Stuff is not important; people are important; to heck with the
rest of it."
Mobile County court records show that Riggins
has been arrested 14 times since 1999 on charges ranging from burglary to
receiving stolen property.
Twice in 1999 he pleaded guilty to
second-degree receiving stolen property.
The records show that Ganester was arrested 12
times in 1998 and 1999 on charges ranging from reckless endangerment to
receiving stolen property.
He pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, a
legal term for discharging a gun, in 1999 and the same year pleaded guilty to
first-degree receiving stolen property.
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