MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) – One of the owners of a North Memphis restaurant said she was forced to shoot a naked intruder who threatened her and her family members inside the business late Monday night.
The woman, who did not want to be identified by name, said the man was dressed only in sneakers when he showed up at Mr. Potato Head — while the restaurant was closed — asking for water. He entered after pushing his way inside, shutting the self-locking doors behind him.
She said the man became enraged when he couldn’t leave the restaurant, and began damaging property. She said he also punched her in the chest and continued to come toward her even though she was holding a gun.
“I was just afraid of his strength,” she said. “I’m pointing at him, asking him to calm down and stay away or get out of the store, which the door was jammed, and he had no way out, so therefore I was between a rock and a hard place, and I just did what I had to do.”
The woman said she fired one shot at the man when he charged her and shot him again when he picked up a chair to throw.
“It’s just a scary sight, and I know that people are saying what they could’ve done, what they would’ve done. But until you’re in a situation, you never know what you will do, especially when the fear hits you. You never know what you’re going to do,” she said. “He was a big guy, big enough to hurt me.”
The woman’s sister, who began live-streaming after the shooting, likened the man to a lion locked in a cage. When the police were called, she said, the naked man was on the ground, and she and her sister and brother were still locked inside the restaurant.
She said she went on Facebook to let loved ones know what was happening.
“If the police came in and arrested us or anything, my family needed to know,” she said. “Somebody needed to know where we were or what was going on with us.”
When asked about the incident, Memphis Police said a man was transported to the hospital in critical condition and later died. They said a woman was detained, but haven’t released any further details about the shooting.
The woman who fired the shots confirmed she was taken into custody, but said she is not facing any charges.
She said she never wanted to take another person’s life.
“I’m not a monster,” she said. “I would never hurt anybody purposely. I just feared for my life and just did what I thought I was supposed to do. I didn’t want him to die or anything like that. I just didn’t wanna be the one my mom had to claim to identify.”
The sisters said they recognized the man from the neighborhood. Police have not publicly identified him.