Self-defense shooter: 'I just started fighting back' -, GA News Weather & Sports

Self-defense shooter: 'I just started fighting back'


A metro Atlanta man says he’s thankful he had an old hunting rifle handy when two armed men burst into his home Wednesday and began pistol-whipping him and his mother.

Timo Hernandez, 28, recounted the attack the next day. He said his mother happened to be visiting him from Nashville. She cooked some chili for him at his home on Eastwood Drive. The two sat down at about 5 p.m. to eat. Moments later, someone knocked on the door.

"When I opened the door, these two guys stormed in with guns and started pistol-whipping me and took me to the ground," said Hernandez.

One of the intruders went after his mother, who was trying to escape.

"He started pistol whipping and kicking her in the side," he said.

The son's attacker demanded money and forced him through the house at gunpoint. He took him to a guest bedroom and threw him to the ground.

"He put a gun to my head,” Hernandez said, “and I just started fighting back."

Hernandez said it just so happened that his father's old hunting rifle was stashed away in that guest room. Hernandez had been thinking about refinishing it. During the scuffle, Hernandez managed to grab the rifle, and he started firing.

Bullets struck both men. Wounded, they both fled the house. One collapsed dead in a neighbor's yard. The other man hopped in a getaway car, but later collapsed in the parking lot of a Zaxby's restaurant. He remained in critical condition until passing Thursday from his wounds. 

Police believe the men had been trying to impersonate police officers. Police badges and zip ties were found at the scene, police said.

Hernandez, his face swollen and bruised from being pistol-whipped, is glad he had protection.

"I feel like if I hadn't had the gun in there, this whole news story would be about me and my mother being dead in this house," he said.

Even so, he still can't get past the fact that he killed someone. He offered an apology to the families of the men he shot.

“I never want to hurt anybody like that, but they put me in a situation, and I only reacted to it," said Hernandez. "It sucks that a man lost his life yesterday, but I had to protect my family.”

Hernandez said his mother remains hospitalized." She suffered a heart attack after police officers arrived," he said. 

Doctors told Hernandez that his mother should recover just fine. She does not have health insurance, he said, so he started a fund raising page for her. Click here to learn more.

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