Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“So I Shot HIm . . . “

In Pensacola, people talk all the time about “carrying.” People have lots of weapons; even my tiniest little friend has a small revolver in her handbag when she goes out.

This old guy makes life a lot easier for the rest of us. Sometimes young guys get bad ideas, and these guys evidently thought they would hit and rob the old people. Guess they got quite a surprise. Guess they will think twice before doing another home invasion – once they get out of prison, which will probably be quite a while from now.

Resident shoots 2 teens in home invasion
Resident, 72, fends off 3 attackers; 1 suspect in hospital, 2 in jail

Two teenagers were shot Saturday night by a 72-year-old man they allegedly beat with a baseball bat during a home-invasion robbery in Ferry Pass.

About 8:45 p.m., three teenage males knocked on the door of a home in the 3300 block of Raines Street, Pensacola Police Department officials said.

When resident Jack Crawford, 72, answered the door, one of the teens hit him in the head with an aluminum bat and tried to force his way into the home.

“I opened it up, and he hit me right off. … Wham! Split my head open,” Crawford said.

“So I shot him and another guy,” Crawford said, chuckling as he told the story to a News Journal reporter Sunday evening. “I could have shot the third one, but I would have had to shoot him in the back as he ran away.”

The attackers fled the scene on foot, and Crawford’s 70-year-old sister, who also lives at the home, called the police, he said.

Earl Benard, 15, Nathaniel Nichols, 17, and Curtis Crenshaw, 18, all of Pensacola, have been charged with home-invasion robbery and aggravated battery in connection with the case, police said.

Crenshaw and Nichols were arrested at a local hospital after being dropped off for treatment with gunshot wounds to their torsos. Benard later was arrested at a nearby rental home.

Nichols remained hospitalized Sunday afternoon, police said. Crenshaw was treated and released and was being held Sunday evening at Escambia County Jail on $300,000 bond.

State Attorney Bill Eddins said he plans to try all three suspects as adults.

Crawford said he grabbed his handgun as a precaution and was holding it at his side when he opened the door Saturday night.

“At 9 o’clock at night, I never take any chances,” Crawford said.

The three teens had “hoods on and scarves around their faces,” Crawford said, and they hit him with the bat before anyone had a chance to speak.

Crawford stumbled back a step from the blow but didn’t fall, and he started shooting as the first attacker was coming through the door, he said.

“I didn’t go down, and I think it shocked him,” Crawford said.

Following the attack, Crawford was transported by ambulance to West Florida Hospital for treatment of injuries to his head. He said doctors stapled his scalp back together, and he was back at home and feeling fine Sunday evening.

“Yeah I’m fine. I’ve got a hard head,” Crawford said.

Police did not release any information Sunday about possible connections between Crawford and the teens. Crawford said he’s lived in the neighborhood about 12 years, and he suspects the attackers were acquaintances with a neighborhood boy who used to do odd jobs around his home.

Crawford said he wasn’t too rattled by the attack, and he still felt comfortable staying in the home.

He said he’s had a rough-and-tumble past that’s left him with a cool head in similar situations.

“I’m not that big of a boy, but I had a reputation,” Crawford said.

I live next door to a cop. His car isn’t marked, but it is a big dark Crown Vic with that cage thing that separates the front from the back seats. Not that criminals are very smart, but you would have to be REALLY stupid to invade my house.

This story is from today’s Pensacola News Journal.

January 31, 2011 - Posted by | Aging, Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Pensacola, Social Issues


  1. Is it allowed by law in Florida to carry a concealed weapon ?

    Comment by daggero | January 31, 2011 | Reply

  2. It is allowed; you have to have a concealed weapon permit. I am surprised – actually, shocked – at the number of people who carry. What they say is that the criminals are carrying, legal or not, and that they carry to protect themselves. I don’t know a single person who has ever had to use their weapon.

    The biggest part of me thinks it is crazy. There is one small part of me, when AdventureMan travels and I am home alone, or coming home alone at night, that sometimes wishes I had a gun. Then I have to ask myself if I would use it. . . a lot of people are hurt by firearm accidents. Statistically, you are most likely to shoot a loved one, either accidentally or on purpose.

    This last weekend, a Tampa military wife shot her two teenagers – dead – for being disrespectful. It is likely she is not in her right mind, but she had a gun and she used it.

    So I don’t carry.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 1, 2011 | Reply

  3. Very true ,that many people shoot relatives and friends or acquaintances over arguments .Last week here in Kuwait one man shot his in law with a military sub machine MP5 remnant from the invasion period and turned himself in .

    Guns have the illusion of ultimate personal power ,so it makes it easy to use on others

    Comment by daggero | February 1, 2011 | Reply

  4. You are right. Love and hate are so closely intertwined; in the craziness and heat of hate, killing seems logical. Only in the cold light of regret does a person see the true nature. Whether in passion or done coldly, the act retains it’s nature – taking the life of another, which is not our right.

    One of the scariest things I ever saw was in Jerusalem, where all the soldiers looked 15, and were carrying large automatic weapons.

    BTW, I heard an interview last night with the shooter; it seems he is a retired trucker who wears tons of gold chains, almost like ‘bring it on.’

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 2, 2011 | Reply

  5. Hello! I just stump upon your page via Yahoo. What a nice blog you have! I appreciate it very much! Thank you for supplying such valuable service to the entire internet world!

    Comment by Al Figueroa | February 3, 2011 | Reply

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