A man who tried to force his way into a home at 7898 Andrea Drive in White City this afternoon was shot dead by the home's resident, according to Jackson County sheriff's deputies.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said the victim had been knocking on several doors in the neighborhood and was trying to force his way into the yellow and white home when he was shot at about 1:25 p.m. Investigators are still trying to determine where the man was wounded and by how many bullets, but they came from a large-caliber revolver, she said.
Carlson said investigators would not release information about the victim until his next of kin had been notified. She did not identify the man who lived at the home but said he had been taken into custody for questioning.
Updated 3:35 p.m.: Friends have identified the alleged shooter as Norm Thomas, 66, a career military man retired from the U.S. Air Force who would not have shot “unless he had to.”
Terry Grogan and his wife, Lorna Zeitler, of Eagle Point, arrived at the home on Andrea Drive to comfort Thomas' daughter, Kristina Thomas, 36. They said Norm Thomas is an “honorable, law-abiding man.”
“Knowing him, I cannot imagine him shooting someone unless he had good cause,” said Grogan, 70.
“He wouldn't have done it unless he had to,” added Zeitler.
Witnesses at the scene said the dead man was lying on his back on the front lawn, his head facing the street, with blood around his head and neck. The man was bald with tattoos on his right arm and chest. He was shirtless and wearing black shorts with red stripes and white tennis shoes, witnesses said. The revolver was lying on the front porch.
"I was watching TV and I heard a firecracker sound," said neighbor Hadali Lua, 16. Within minutes, Jackson County sheriff's deputies had swarmed the area, he said.
Both Lua and neighbor James Anderson, 37, said they saw an older man who was not handcuffed get into a deputy's car. Anderson said a deputy told the man, "You're not under arrest; just get in the back."
Anderson said paramedics had tried to revive the man who had been shot.
— Damian Mann