Sunday, January 12, 2014

Protecting Her Own

Home of Elzie Pipkins
Self-Defense in Shreveport
by Robert A. Waters

Sixty-three-year-old Elzie Pipkins described to Shreveport Times reporter Michael Doughty how she defended her home a few days ago.

At 6:30 p.m., a stranger named Devon Antonio Young, 16, walked up the driveway.

“My grandbaby said, ‘Momma, who is that coming up to the house?’  And before she could get up to check the door, he done bust in the house and said, ‘Nobody move.’  And my grandbaby said, ‘Oh Lord, Granny, he has a gun.’”

“We’re innocent people,” Pipkins said, “and he came up on us in the house with a loaded shotgun.  I looked him dead in the eyes, like I’m looking at you, and I said, ‘Please, please, please don’t hurt us.’”

Young demanded that Pipkins take her to the safe.  “I said, ‘I got some money in my purse, you’re welcome to that, and please take that and leave.’  But he said, ‘I want the money from your safe.’”

Pipkins suddenly realized that Young was the burglar who had ransacked her home a month before.  He’d attempted to open the safe, but couldn’t.

“I was so nervous,” Pipkins said.  “I messed up two or three times as I was unlocking the safe.  I prayed, ‘Oh Lord, help me get through this.  Oh Lord, it’s going to be him or me.’”

The safe contained only a bag full of change—about fifty-five dollars. And a .38-caliber handgun.

“I took the coins in my left hand, and I had put my other hand on my gun, on the trigger, and I said, ‘Here you go.’  He reached for the bag of coins, and that’s when I fired my gun and hit him with the first round, and he went back and then he tried to grab his gun to aim it at me.  I grabbed the barrel and I pushed the barrel up and I fired another shot and that’s when he broke and ran out of the house.”

Investigators found Young about a block from the home he’d tried to rob.  He was taken to University Health where doctors pronounced him dead.  He’d been hit in the chest.

Pipkins said: “Just fifty-five dollars in coins, and he lost his life.  Lord Jesus, I wish the young people today would just think, go to school, get an education and a good job and buy what you want.  Don’t try to take from someone who has worked all their life and still doesn’t have nothing to give.”

“The Lord was just in the midst of me,” Pipkins said.  “I don’t know if you would call it instincts or what you would call it.  I just call it by the grace of God.”

She concluded by expressing her pain at having to take a life.  “I didn’t want to kill him,” Pipkins said.  “Lord Jesus, I did not want to.  My heart goes out to his family.  I didn’t want to do this but I had to protect us and I just thank God He was with us.”

Elzie Pipkins will not be charged with any crime.