Armed neighbors help stop Jeffersonville home intruder

Updated: Aug. 2, 2017 at 6:48 PM EDT
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The homeowner was checking his mail on Hampton Drive when the suspect moved in. (Source:...
The homeowner was checking his mail on Hampton Drive when the suspect moved in. (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Neighbors on one Jeffersonville street immediately became first responders after a man forced himself into one of their homes.

Shots were fired, but fortunately no one was hurt. Antonio Hickerson, 36, is currently behind bars and made his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

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Investigators said this was a crime of opportunity. The homeowner was checking his mail on Hampton Drive when the suspect moved in.

"It was simply a citizen who happened to be visible with the garage door open," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.

Court documents said that Hickerson approached the homeowner in his garage and asked to use his phone. When his request was declined, that's when he started going through the man's truck and eventually pushed his way into the home.

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"The victim was able to retrieve a handgun that he owned," Mull said. "He was able to use that handgun to get Mr. Hickerson out of his residence."

The situation didn't end there. The homeowner, who didn't want to go on camera, told police he fired two warning shots after Hickerson refused to leave. That's when a struggle started as the suspect tried to grab the gun out of the homeowner's hands.

Neighbor Libby West described how another neighbor jumped in to help.

"He walked outside because he kind of saw and heard a commotion and he saw a gun waving in the air," West said. "The two men were fighting over it."

That neighbor grabbed his gun and ran over to assist his friend. Other neighbors jumped in as well.

Police got to the scene quickly and arrested Hickerson. The homeowner's keys and cellphone were found in Hickerson's pocket.

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"These types of crimes are rare where you have just a law-abiding citizen going about their life and you have a stranger approach them and commit a crime," Mull said. "This does appear to be one of those situations and it is concerning to people to see this."

Court documents said Hickerson told officers he was on multiple narcotics. West said he's just thankful no one was hurt.

"We have just a strong sense of community and we all really kind of look out for each other," West said. "This is a stranger who has never really been involved in our neighborhood before. Neighborhood watch really does work."

Hickerson is currently being held in the Clark County Jail.

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