Armed neighbor detains suspects following Columbia wreck - WKRN News 2

Armed neighbor detains suspects following Columbia wreck

Posted: Updated: Jan 25, 2013 12:13 PM
COLUMBIA, Tenn. -

Two young men narrowly escaped injuries from a wreck and an armed homeowner in Maury County.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the 21-year-old and 19-year-old veered off the roadway on Rock Springs Cemetery Road in Columbia shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Maury County Fire Department was dispatched to the scene.

On the dark rural road, firefighters found a wrecked Chevy Silverado, but could not find the occupants.

"They took a thermal imaging camera, and stepped over into a cemetery area adjacent to where the accident was," said Fire Chief Mark Gandee.

The search came to an end before the occupants could be found.

"When [firefighters] stepped up on the little rise there, checking the area, some shots rang out," Gandee said.

A call was quickly made to 911 dispatch.

"All units are leaving the scene...shots fired," said a firefighter recorded on a dispatch tape.

Within minutes, another call was made to 911.

"There's two guys out here in the back of our field. Something's wrong," a woman told a county dispatcher.

The call was made less than a block from the wreckage. Concerned about county deputies in the area, the dispatcher asked the woman if the men had flashlights.

"They don't have flashlights," said the caller. "Neighbors behind us called and told us they was walking up to the back of our house. They're hid right now, laying down in the back of the grass."

During the call, emergency responders on the scene learned the woman was home alone. Ironically, her husband had left the house to offer assistance with the wrecked vehicle.

"He was standing there when my officer told the deputy sheriff that somebody was behind the house and the address," said Gandee. "The gentleman was standing there and said, 'That's my house.'"

On the phone, the woman seemed aware the two men were from the wreck.

"They police are right above us. They can help you get your truck unstuck," she yelled to them, while on still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher.

On the tape, her voice was shaken. She was scared, but armed.

"You stay put right there! I have a gun on you," she said. "Do not move!"

The men heeded the warnings. They were caught a short time later when authorities arrived.

If is not clear when or if the caller fired the shots heard by firefighters.

News 2 reached out to the woman who called 911. She didn't want to talk on camera. Off camera, she said she was "just a housewife trying to protect her home."

Of the two vehicle occupants, the 19-year-old was charged with underage drinking by the responding Highway Patrol officer. No other charges have been filed.

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