1 suspect killed, 2 at large after elderly homeowner injured during Center Point home invasion

CENTER POINT, Ala. (WIAT) — An elderly homeowner is recovering after a deadly home invasion. It happened at a home on the 2400 block of Ormond Drive.

At 1 a.m. Wednesday morning 79-year-old John Croft was asleep when he awoke to a noise in his basement. Officials say two suspects broke in through the basement window and went up the stairs to Croft’s bedroom, where he was still in bed.

“The suspect said ‘Don’t move,'” Croft recalled. Croft said he reached for his gun and fired shots.

“It was just “Pow, Pow, Pow. I have a .38—I got off five shots. I think he must have got off at least one–it hit me, as I was running after him. I fell twice,” said Croft.

Investigators said one of the suspects was pronounced dead on the scene. Croft was also shot.

“See the bandage right here [pointing to his ankle], the bullet just came in and went right out, I never felt it. I didn’t know I was shot until the deputy insisted I go to the hospital,” said Croft.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Randy Christian said Croft’s fatal shooting of the suspect was ruled justifiable.

“You have the right to protect your life and that’s what he did. It’s what we advocate–this certainly could have ended up going the other way,and we could be talking about a homeowner–an innocent homeowner–that was killed,” said Christian.

Two suspects remain on the loose: the one that escaped from the house and returned fire at Croft, and the driver of the getaway car. Friday, March 31, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office identified the deceased suspect as 22-year-old Nicholas Attwan McDonald of Birmingham.

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