An Ooltewah man who shot and killed what he thought was a middle-of-the-night prowler -- actually a 72-year-old man with advanced Alzheimer's disease -- Wednesday in Walker County, Ga., hasn't been charged but he might be later, authorities said.This sort of thing is only too predictable, but in the South the authorities are understanding about reckless gunplay:
"Mr. Hendrix is clearly saddened and heartbroken," the sheriff said. "Mr. Hendrix has to live with his actions for the rest of his life."At least he has a rest of his life, which is more than anybody can say for the sick man, Mr. Westbrook.
My grandfather lived down the road a piece from this place and at one point in his life, when nightriders were after him, slept with a loaded pistol in his hand and a loaded rifle on the floor beside the bed. One night, he heard someone at the door and thought the racists had come for him.
He didn't just shoot, though. Good thing, as it turned out it was just his drunk next-door neighbor who had mistaken the gate to his own house.