ANDERSON, Ind. — Neighbors in Anderson say a woman was going door to door in the middle of the night asking for help after she shot and killed a man who broke into her home early Wednesday.
"There was somebody screaming, 'Help me, help me! Please call the police!'" said Amari Lewis.
Lewis and Caitlin Knox woke up to their doorbell ringing over and over and their neighbor from across the street desperate for help.
"She was very scared and frantic. She didn't want to go to jail. She wanted to make sure her kids were OK," Lewis said.
The woman told her neighbors what happened minutes before.
"Somebody tried to rob her, they said, 'Where was she and where was the money' and said they were going to start shooting," Lewis said.
Anderson police responded around 1 a.m. to the home on East Eighth Street, near the Anderson University campus.
"They had the whole street blocked off. It was big," Knox said. "This area is really quiet. It leads right to the police station and the jail. It's a main part of town."
The woman told police she saw a man kick in her back door to get in the house. She told officers she then went upstairs to a bedroom, got a gun and shot and killed the suspect.
"She didn't even see the guy. She acted out of self-defense. If anyone would have broken into my house, I would have done the same thing, especially with my kids in the house," Lewis said.
It was a close call for this street.
"It's scary. It could have been any of our houses. It could have happened to anybody in this neighborhood," Knox said.
The situation could have had any other outcome.
"I'm just glad nothing happened to us or nothing happened to her and her family. I'm glad that everybody's OK," Lewis said.
The Madison County coroner identified the suspect Wednesday as 40-year-old Jeffery Flowers. Neighbors said the woman didn't know the intruder.
(Editor's note: The coroner's office initially identified the suspect as a 37-year-old man. His age has been updated in this story after receiving new information from the coroner.)
What other people are reading:
- Indianapolis mother fighting for her life after COVID nearly destroys lungs
- Burnout among health care workers increasing with hospitals still short-staffed, over capacity
- Winter clothes needed for evacuees living at Camp Atterbury
- President Biden to attend memorial of former Indiana first lady Susan Bayh
- Here's where you can get deals and freebies on National Coffee Day