An Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War was fatally shot by police in his home after he shot and killed a naked intruder who was attacking his grandson.
Richard “Gary” Black was shot to death by police in his home in Aurora, Colorado, at 1:30 a.m. Monday while holding the 9mm pistol he used to kill the intruder moments before, The Denver Post reported.
Black, a South Carolina native, served as an Army lieutenant, received a Purple Heart and was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions in the Vietnam War, the Post reported.
The 73-year-old veteran was asleep in his home when the naked intruder kicked in the door and entered the house. Black’s wife, stepson and grandson were also in the home. The intruder grabbed Black’s grandson, who was asleep on a sofa, dragged him to a bathroom, and began choking the 11-year-old in the bathtub, according to Siddhartha Rathod, an attorney for the family.
“This is a horror movie scenario,” Rathod said to the Denver Post, calling Black a hero who saved the boy’s life.
The intruder had not been identified as of Wednesday, the Post reported. He had been attending a nearby party when he ran across a road and into Black’s home, Rathod said. Others at the party followed him onto Black’s property, he said, according to the Post.
Black and his stepson tried to fight off the intruder, and hit him over the head with a vase, but that didn’t stop the attacker, Rathod told the Post. Black got his 9mm and shot the intruder.
Black’s wife called 911 during the intruder’s attack, and Aurora police arrived at what they called a “chaotic and violent scene,” heard gunshots and saw an armed man. An officer with the Aurora Police Department shot Black, who was standing in his living room, the attorney said, according to the Post.
Black died at a hospital soon after. His grandson remained hospitalized as of Tuesday afternoon with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Rathod said.
The deaths are under investigation by the 17th Judicial District Attorney. The Denver Police Department is assisting in the investigation, according to the report, and the officer who fired the shot that killed Black has been placed on administrative reassignment with pay.
Noah Nash is a rising senior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. At school, he is the editor in chief of the Collegian Magazine and the digital director of the Collegian, Kenyon's newspaper.