Monday, September 25, 2023

Video Shows Chen Fengzhu Self-Defense Shooting

Female Restaurant Owner Routs Home Invaders

By Robert A. Waters

"Find a Chinese neighborhood 'cause they don't believe in bank accounts." Lyrics from a popular rap song instructs armed robbers to invade the homes of successful Chinese business owners. YG—Meet the Flockers


On September 16, 2016, at 3:43 A.M., three robbers kicked in the door of a home occupied by restaurant owner Chen Fengzhu (pictured). Each carried a gun and began searching for valuables. The entire incident was filmed on high-definition surveillance video.

The 36-year-old Chinese woman quickly sent the three panicked home invaders fleeing. Cameras show Chen raining bullets on the surprised trio as she races out of her bedroom dressed in pajamas. 

Daily Mail reported "incredible footage has been released showing the moment a Georgia woman rushed out of the bed in the middle of the night and opened fire at three armed men who broke into her house, killing one. The surveillance footage, released by the Gwinnett County [Georgia] Police Department, shows the intruders—all of whom are carrying guns—bursting through the front door and rummaging the house…"

Chen explained her actions to a reporter. "I didn’t have any choice," she said, "so I had to take out the gun I’d hid there. Then I loaded my pistol and walked out of my bedroom. I shot at the invaders when I saw them. One of them fled quickly, and another one ran away from the front door. Then I shot again. The one inside my house broke the glass on the back door and ran away. I didn’t feel scared at the moment and all I thought about was how to deal with the situation."

Responding officers found Antonio Leeks, 28, lying in the driveway of the home. "Police took off the burglar’s clothes," Chen said, "and attempted to resuscitate him for about 15 to 20 minutes and they told me they had failed to save him." Investigators later reported he had died from a bullet wound to his "torso."

Cops arrested one of the invaders, Bernard Little, a year and a half later. He still carried a cell phone he had stolen from the house.  The third suspect has not yet been apprehended.

Cpl. Deon Washington of the Gwinnett County Police Department told reporters the resident acted appropriately. "She exercised her right to defend her livelihood and property," he said.

But there's a back-story here, one few people know.

Many robbers target Chinese business owners because it’s rumored they keep lots of cash in their homes. Police speculated the invaders in Gwinnett County specifically targeted Chen for that reason. Once inside, the robbers began searching for cash and valuables. This gave Chen the opportunity to wake up and get her firearm.

Chen surprised the thieves with a blitz attack, emptying the magazine in her semiautomatic handgun. The video shows each robber fleeing in different directions. 

Investigators released the video in order to identify the two surviving invaders. 

Why Little was walking the streets is another back story. Born in 1982, he committed a series of violent crimes in 1997 when he was just 15 years old. The courts convicted Little of the following: kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, rape, aggravated sodomy, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during a crime. He received sentences for each conviction, totaling 136 years. It’s probable he was released because of his age when he committed the crimes. The question remains: should anyone, even a teenager, be released early after committing all these violent crimes?

He had been on the streets for only six months before encountering Chen.

Little was convicted of the following offenses against Chen: burglary, aggravated assault, home invasion 1st degree, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, armed robbery, and murder. He is currently serving out his sentence. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Little's "maximum release date is March 28, 2043."

Does that mean he can be released earlier than 2043?   

The third intruder has never been caught. (See picture below.) If you recognize him, please call the Gwinnett County Police Department at 770-513-5000.

Robert A. Waters is the author of Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms, co-written with Sim Waters. For more than 30 years, Waters has researched defensive shootings in America. He has penned 4 books describing in detail many of those cases.

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