As reported in the Leavenworth Times, in the very early hours of Saturday morning, a 74-year-old Leavenworth woman shot and killed a man she believed was burglarizing her home. She used a handgun.

After the shooting, the woman called the police, and they found Ralph Byrd Jr., 41, inside the residence with a fatal bullet wound.

The presumably distraught woman suffered a setback of her own. “Very briefly after the officers began the investigation, the 74-year-old woman suffered a medical event,” said Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens. She was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

Facts on the ground are still sketchy. It needs to be confirmed that Byrd had, in fact, entered the home to commit a crime.  “It’s being classified as an aggravated burglary and homicide investigation,” said Kitchens.

As the facts sort themselves out, what does seem clear is that a handgun can make even a 74-year-old woman living alone something other than a “victim.”

 

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