Things seemed shady from the start.
A 78-year-old Chicago homeowner told WBBM-TV three men posed as repairmen and asked if they could fix his concrete steps and walkway Monday afternoon, repeatedly asking the homeowner to let them inside to get water.
"The first time he came was afternoon, about 4:30, 5 o'clock, and he said, 'I want to fix your cement, but I've got to get in the house to get water,'" the homeowner told the station, which did not identify him. "When I heard that, I said no. He wants to get in the house to get at me, you know, attack me, and I said, 'I don't want nobody in the house.'"
Image source: WBBM-TV video screeenshot
But it appears the trio came back that evening — and this time they weren't asking for permission to come inside.
The homeowner told WBBM he saw three men — the same ones, he believes — using a crowbar to get inside his home.
"I was in fear for my life," the homeowner told the station.
Something with a little more power than a crowbar
When the homeowner opened his door after hearing a noise, one of the men trying to break in raised the crowbar to smash the glass, WBBM said.
So the homeowner shot one of the men through the storm door, the station said, and police added that he limped away from the house.
Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot
"He should have never came back," the homeowner added to WBBM.
The other two men got away in a red Dodge Caravan, police told the station.
'It's you or him'
"That was a tough decision," the homeowner told WBBM. "It's not like going hunting. It's hard to shoot a human and not think about it. It's going to stay with me the rest of my life, what happened. You hate to do something like that, but like the police said, it's you or him. I didn't feel good doing that, but he would have gotten me with that crowbar. If I get hit with something like a baseball bat or a crowbar, you ain't gonna make it."
Does the homeowner think the three men — particularly the one who got shot — will return at some point?
"I doubt it," he added to the station. "Not when he knows that he's got trouble on his hands, too."
Police told WBBM the homeowner has a valid Firearm Owner's Identification card.
No one was in custody as of Tuesday morning, the station noted, but detectives were investigating.