Armed robber killed with his own gun during home invasion
A group of friends sitting around the house on a Saturday night got a rude surprise when a group of armed thugs invaded crashed through the window at 3am. What happened next surprised everyone.
In Orange County, Florida is the small Eatonville community of just over 2,000 residents. The town is historic, being one of the first all-black towns to be formed after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and was incorporated on August 15, 1887. American folklorist, anthropologist, and author Zora Neale Hurston spent her formative years there and even set her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, in the town.
Well God apparently was watching back this last Saturday.
(After the incident response, photo credit facebook.)
Mr. Usaf-Ali Castle and six friends were hanging out on a Friday night/Saturday morning when a man burst through the window. Armed with a pistol and wearing gloves, the man ran to the door and let in two accomplices, the whole time yelling at Castle to give them the money.
It was then that one of Castle's friends, Joseph Robinson, jumped up from a couch and tackled the intruder, knocking the pistol out of his hand, Castle said.
"I felt like he was going to do something to me," said Joseph Robinson, who wrestled the gun away from the victim. "If I was going to go out, I was going out trying hard, fighting for my life."
Castle then picked it up, and shot the intruder as he and his friend separated.
"When they separated, I shot him like four, maybe five times," Castle said.
When that happened the two remaining invaders, outnumbered and now possibly outgunned, beat feet.
The intruder died at the home, deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
"I feel pretty good today. I feel blessed," Castle said. "I feel like God [is] with me."
The gunman was later identified as 20-year-old Clifford Johnson. Johnson, who was not known to any of the party in the home, had a rap sheet going back to age 14 that included such highlights as aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
At least two accomplices got away and are being sought by the Orange County Sherriff's office. Meanwhile neighbors are reporting an ever-growing series of break-ins in recent months.
Castle said he's lived at the home for about 20 years, and nothing like this has ever happened to him.
"I feel like you can't really be scared out here. I'm trying to protect myself the best I can," he said. "I hope they never come back again."
Castle said he would do it all again, if it meant saving his friends.
At this point, Castle is not facing any charges in connection with the shooting.
Anyone with any further information about the incident is asked to call Florida Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS (8477).