Neighbors React to Deadly Home Invasion, Shooting in Fairmont

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One man is dead, another hospitalized and a woman is in custody following a home invasion early Tuesday morning.

Fairmont Police said an 80-year-old man shot both male suspects when they tried to rob him.

There are mixed emotions about the incident from those who live nearby. Some say they are fearful while others say they are not surprised.

“You gotta stay on your toes around here or you’ll end up hurt,” one neighbor said.

For one resident, Tuesday morning’s incident on the 700 block of Gaston Avenue was the last straw. He told 12 News he and his wife plan to move out of the area.

Another neighbor, though, said he is not surprised this happened.

“It’s nothing new. As far as break-ins go, it happens a lot. But this time, someone walked into the wrong house,” said Alfred Bolling, a neighbor who lives on the same block where the home invasion occurred.

Fairmont Police said an 80-year-old man opened his door to 23-year-old Whitney Kabiru asking to use his phone. Police said that is when she, along with 28-year-old Larry Shaver and 28-year-old John Grossklaus, attempted to rob the man. Police said the suspects flashed a realistic-looking BB gun, and the elderly man then shot both male suspects, killing Shaver and injuring Grossklaus.

“All the evidence that we’ve collected, all the statements that we’ve taken, they’ve all indicated that this was a self defense type situation,” said Chief Steve Shine of the Fairmont Police Department.

Shine said prosecutors and the courts can decide whether the shooting was a justifiable homicide, but police do not plan to press charges against the man.

“If somebody has a real firearm and you present deadly force, try to commit a crime against them, that law abiding citizen is authorized to use whatever force they need to to protect themselves,” Shine said.

Right now, police are not releasing any information about a possible motive other than the man’s age.

“We do have information that they believe this was an old man and that this was going to be an easy way for them to get stuff that wasn’t theirs,” Shine said.

Shine added while it is unfortunate the man had to defend himself, he is happy he was able to save his own life.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I plan on buying him a box of bullets whenever this all gets cleared up.”

Kabiru is being held at the North Central Regional Jail on robbery and conspiracy charges. Grossklaus was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment. Once released, he will face robbery and other charges.

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