TAMPA (CBS Tampa) – A legally blind man shot an intruder in self-defense Sunday night.
It turned out he mistakenly identified his 15-year-old great-nephew as an intruder.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that 50-year-old Melchisedec Williams was in his house when his great-nephew cut the wires bringing power to the house and broke in through a bedroom window. Police say that once the nephew was inside the house he made his way to the kitchen and grabbed two steak knives.
Williams, who suffers from glaucoma, which is how he lost some vision in his left eye, was asleep in an adjoining bedroom. He told police he woke up and noticed the power was out. He heard the window break and retrieved his handgun from his dresser drawer.
The newspaper reports that Williams thought it was his great-nephew and actually called out his name. When there was no response, Williams shot at what he was able to see.
After the shot was fired, he heard a boy groan in pain and recognized the voice as his great-nephew.
“That’s what made me stop shooting,” Williams told the Tampa Bay Times. “I was in the dark and I was ready to unload that gun until I heard his voice.”
The newspaper reports that Williams took the boy in after his mother went to prison and no other relatives wanted to look after him. Williams thought he would be able to help the boy as he also had a troubled youth.
“The more I tried to help him, the more he had this hatred towards me,” Williams told the Times. “This boy has got a real demon inside of him. But I never imagined he would try to come in and kill me.”
According to the Department of Corrections, Williams is a convicted felon. Florida law prohibits felons from possessing firearms. However, there is some confusion as to whether or not convicted felons can use a gun to protect themselves under Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.
The boy was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he is expected to have a full recovery.
No charges have been filed.