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Home invader pushes door open, shoots at homeowner — but victim is armed, too, and shoots crook dead after multiple warnings: 'There was no way around it'

Image source: WOOD-TV video screenshot

A western Michigan homeowner fatally shot a career criminal who, in the dead of night last week, broke the windows of his truck, hollered at the homeowner demanding the keys, pushed open a door of the home, and even shot at the homeowner.

Hours after last Thursday's ordeal, Alan Lenhart told WOOD-TV he had no other choice: “I told him to go away, ‘I have a gun on you,’ and he would not go away and kept advancing on us. So … had to do it. There was no way around it. Absolutely no way around it.”

Image source: WOOD-TV video screenshot

What are the details?

The Kent County sheriff’s office said shortly after midnight the intruder tried to break into a home on 108th Street SW near Wilson Avenue in Byron Township, the station reported, adding that the suspect was armed with a handgun.

Lenhart told WOOD he and his wife saw the man breaking the windows of his pickup truck in the driveway.

“We yelled at him to go away. He proceeded to advance on us. We shut the door, locked him out, called 911,” Lenhart recounted to the station, adding that he retrieved his deer hunting shotgun from a safe and loaded it.

Then the intruder went to the back of the rural home, which is about 20 minutes south of Grand Rapids — and where Lenhart has lived for 28 years, the station said.

Image source: WOOD-TV video screenshot

“When he was in the back yard, he was going, ‘Give me the keys, give me the keys,’ and kept approaching," Lenhart told WOOD.

The station said the intruder walked up the back steps and pushed against the door at the top of the steps, which was barricaded. Lenhart told WOOD the intruder got the door partially open.

“I told him, ‘Go away, I’ve got a shotgun on you,’ and he kept coming,” Lenhart recalled to the station, adding that the intruder "started shooting at me" and described bullets flying by his head.

That's when Lenhart opened fire, WOOD said.

What happened next?

Arriving deputies found 39-year-old Christopher Worth of Middleville near Lenhart's home, the station reported, adding that Worth died at the scene.

Image source: WOOD-TV video screenshot

Worth had a criminal history dating back to 2000 with convictions for drug offenses, vandalism, and unarmed and armed robbery, WOOD said, adding that the Michigan Department of Corrections listed him as a parole absconder at the time of his death.

Deputies believe Worth may have been involved in a car crash earlier in the night in another county, along with two vehicle thefts — and that he tried to steal a car along 108th Street, the station reported. Lenhart added to WOOD it was his understanding that Worth’s stolen car broke down on his street and that Worth was looking for another one.

Lenhart also told the station he couldn't fathom why Worth broke the windows of his locked truck expecting the keys to be inside: "He was crazy."

'I'm a religious man, so it’s still tough'

During the interview on his doorstep, Lenhart was asked if shooting Worth was tough on him. He told the station, “Oh, yeah. Sure. For sure.”

“I'm a religious man, so it’s still tough,” he told WOOD as his eyes seemed to tear up. “Scared to death. Who knows when we’ll be done with that, I guess. Hard to go back in your own home after this happens, isn't it.”

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