Armed robbers fire shots, break into U.S. Army officer's house - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Armed robbers fire shots, break into U.S. Army officer's house

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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

After serving a tour of duty, a Fort Benning lieutenant is welcomed back to the states by a pair of gun-wielding thugs trying to break into his Phenix City house.

Minutes after First Lieutenant Angello's alarm went off at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, he received a second wake up call, of the glass-shattering variety. Two men were breaking in through his first floor window.

"There's a lot of military around here, so we're usually up around that time.  So for someone to try and break in around the time we're waking up... not the best idea," said Angello.

He grabbed his sidearm from a nightstand and proceeded downstairs to investigate.  The burglars were scared away when he turned on the lights and took off running down Poyner Drive.

One of the victim's neighbors was smoking a cigarette outside when he heard the commotion.  The neighbor didn't have a gun, but he chased after the suspects anyway.  Soon, one of the fleeing men turned around and started shooting at the neighbor, and he took cover.

As an Army officer who just returned from Afghanistan, Lt. Angello is disappointed that he has to worry about people shooting at him when he's back in his own country.

"I was on a deployment; I just recently got back with 3rd Brigade," said Lt. Angello. "I bought the house. I left three months later. Absolutely nothing happened while I was gone. My neighbors watched the house for me. I've been back for just a little over three and a half months, and this is the first thing that happens." 

As upsetting as this ordeal has been for him, it could have been much worse for the intruders.

"They're lucky, because they could be leaving out of here in body bags," Lt. Angello said. "And in my house, they would have left out of here in a body bag. And I wouldn't have felt guilty about it at all."

Lt. Angello credits the strength of the area's neighborhood watch networks that are constantly keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. He and his neighbors will be patrolling the area frequently in light of this incident.

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