MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) — Donald Kimbrough came through the carport door of his home on Parham Store Road around 7:20 p.m. Monday.
When he walked inside, he knew something wasn't right.
"I noticed that my gun safe was open and that my cabinet doors were open and stuff was just strewed all over the floor," said Kimbrough.
The former U.S. Army infantryman told his wife, who was in their car parked out front, to call 911.
He said he grabbed the gun next to the door and headed to another part of the house where the back door was open. It appeared someone had used a brick to break the glass.
The 60-year-old Kimbrough noticed someone in the backyard of the home near Hatley.
"Since my gun was loaded, I pushed the safety off of it and shot at the individual that was running down beside the camper," said Kimbrough.
The bullets pierced the camper but not the burglar.
Kimbrough said he fired again before falling. He bruised his back and suffered a slight concussion in the fall.
"I think he did what most people would do," said Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell when asked about the homeowner's actions. "And I salute him for what he did do because I really believe that he was protecting his dwelling and his family."
The sheriff said state law allows a person to use deadly force against someone at home, on one's property, at work or in a car if a certain standard is met.
"Make sure that the person is putting you in danger of losing your life or bodily injury," said Cantrell.
According to the sheriff, the shooting in this case was justified since there was a concern the burglar had a gun.
Two of the four guns stolen from the home were found by a camper in the backyard.
So what if you show up at home and see that it has been burglarized?
Cantrell's advice is to get away from the home and call 911.
He added that if it's possible while leaving, look at the home to see if there are any clues that could eventually help investigators solve the break-in.
As for this case, the sheriff said there are strong leads being pursued but no arrests have been made yet.
Meanwhile, the Kimbroughs lost money, guns, jewelry and other items in the burglary.
The couple plans to be prepared if someone decides to break in again.
"I will have an alarm system put in," said Donald Kimbrough.