HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - When 71-year-old Tony Pitts heard a noise out back in the middle of Monday night's ice storm, it wasn't chunks of ice or tree limbs hitting his Hickory home. Instead, it was a pounding on the sliding glass door.
"I heard three loud hits on it," he told WBTV Tuesday. Pitts says he was in bed and reached for a pistol just as the glass on the door shattered.
"I got up with the gun and someone was standing in my kitchen, and I started shooting," Pitts said.
Tony said he fired three shots and thinks the man was hit twice.
"I hate it had to happen, but it did," said Tony.
Despite bleeding profusely, the man went back out through the broken door, got over a fence and made his way to a nearby club and asked for help. He wound up in a hospital in intensive care - where he remained on Tuesday afternoon in stable condition.
Pitts, whose home has been broken into before, says he shot the man because he was afraid.
"I thought he might kill me," he said.
Investigators have not filed charges against the alleged intruder yet. They are waiting until he recovers to decide what to do.
As for the action Pitts took, the investigation results will be turned over to the District Attorney to decide whether the homeowner acted properly.
Pitts says he believes he did what he had to do and, if confronted with a similar situation in the future, "I would do the same thing."