When two men tried to rob Windell Haynes at gunpoint on the porch of his Liberty City home on Saturday, the 60-year-old Vietnam veteran fought back with a cane.
In the ensuing confusion, one of the attackers apparently shot the other, sending the wounded man to Jackson Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The second robber ran away.
The Haynes family and a neighbor were having lunch on the porch of his home in the 900 block of Northwest 47th Terrace in Liberty City when two men approached from the back yard and one of them pointed a gun at the Marine Corps veteran.
According to a woman who identified herself as Haynes’ sister, the other man tried to snatch a chain from around the veteran’s neck. Haynes responded by hitting the man with a cane.
That's when the man with the gun accidentally shot his accomplice in the stomach, according to Haynes’ sister .
Catherine Loud, Haynes’ neighbor could only see a man in a gray hoodie running away when he heard the gunshot and came to see what had happened. The injured man lay on the ground.
"He was shot. He didn’t move," said Loud, adding that the wounded man looked to be about 18 years old.
Haynes explained that police asked him not to talk about the incident because the investigation was still open .
But he did say this wasn’t the first robbery he had foiled. In 2000, he had gone through a similar situation when a man tried to rob him at gunpoint as he took money from an ATM near Northwest 27th Avenue and 54th Street.
Haynes kept the money and the card in his pocket, told the robber that he would not give him anything, and lunged at him. The robber ran away.
"I attacked him and he fled," Haynes said.
Haynes said he served as an aircraft mechanic with the Marines in Vietnam. He is now retired .
"I feel good," Haynes said of his reaction to the attack on Saturday.
Her neighbor, Loud, said the neighborhood has been quiet for decades.
"This is a nice neighborhood. I've been staying here since '61. I was the first black person here," Loud said. "We never had this before. We’ve got police. We’ve got police."
Haynes' brother Eddie was proud of his sibling.
"They messed with the wrong one," Eddie Haynes said.