Prosecutor puts lead in purported pilferer
puts lead in purported pilferer
by MARK DUNCAN
Originally published on The
Daily Courier (June 5, 2000)
PRESCOTT, AZ - Gary Kidd didn't
know for sure what to think when he heard noises in his Joseph Street home this
morning, but the deputy county attorney at first feared the worst.
"I honestly thought it was
a gang hit," said Kidd, who now works in the civil division of the
prosecutor's office after spending several years trying drug cases.
Kidd was indeed a target, but
not of the type he imagined. And the man he shot and wounded in his bedroom,
20-year-old James Heath of Prescott, was not an assassin.
Heath and two others, Chad
Anderson, 19, and Ryan Clark, 17, are in jail facing burglary charges after
police tracked them down after the 1 a.m. incident in Kidd's home. Heath
suffered gunshot wounds to his buttocks, his upper arm and a hand --
Prescott Police Department
spokesman Sgt. Shane Reed said investigators suspect the trio of choosing to
burglarize Kidd's house after Kidd didn't respond to his doorbell. They
allegedly broke out a window on the lower floor of the home and, thinking they
were alone, went about their business of taking Kidd's property, including his
prized musical instruments and equipment.
Kidd said an air cleaner in his
bedroom may have prevented him from hearing the doorbell, but it did not drown
out all the noise the suspects made in his home.
"The first thing I heard
was some boxes dropping," Kidd said.
Awake from that sound, he said
he saw a light come on in the upstairs portion of the house. That's when he went
for his gun.
"I thought, this is a hit
or something," Kidd said. "I had a .25 in the desk, and I got it and
Just then, he said, his bedroom
door opened and Heath entered the room. Kidd said he told the intruder to
freeze, but did not get the response he desired.
"He spun toward me, his
hands came up and I fired," Kidd said.
"I didn't know what he was
going to do."
All three suspects fled the
home, and it wasn't until police were interviewing Kidd's neighbors that they
got a break in the case. One of the witnesses saw Clark drive by and pointed him
out to officers, who stopped him and allegedly found evidence of another
burglary in the car.
Clark reportedly told officers
he had been with a man named Chad, and a search of the department's computer led
to Anderson's residence, where officers found both remaining suspects, including
Heath, who had wrapped his gunshot wounds in cloth.
Officers took him to Yavapai
Regional Medical Center where doctors treated his wounds before releasing him
back to police for booking.
Reed said that, from what he
knows now, he has no question Kidd was within his rights to shoot the intruder.
"Unless the evidence shows
otherwise, we're not going to second-guess his decision," Reed said.
"People can defend themselves, absolutely, if they feel that their lives or
the lives of others are threatened."
Investigators have found no
evidence that any of the three suspects were armed. As for Kidd, he said he
planned to go to work, after taking care of some business around the house.
"I think it worked out
pretty well," he said, "except for the broken window and the cds all
over my living room."
Police believe they have
recovered most or all of Kidd's property, and are investigating the three
suspects for possible involvements in other recent burglaries in the area.
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