CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County prosecutors have dropped weapons charges against an elderly man who shot a teenage burglar who broke into his Englewood home last week.
Homer Wright, 81, shot 19-year-old Anthony Robinson in the leg, after Robinson allegedly broke into his home in the 6400 block of South Morgan Street on March 26. Because Wright had previous felony convictions, he was not allowed to possess a gun and was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
But that charge was dropped on Monday at a hearing at the Cook County Criminal Courts building, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Wright’s arrest sparked outrage among his family, friends and neighbors. They said Wright has the right to defend himself against an intruder to his home.
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Neighborhood leaders like Hal Baskin rallied around Wright after his arrest.
“Mr. Wright was arrested for protecting himself,” Baskin said. “They point out he was arrested here, he was arrested here, he was arrested there. That’s not important. What’s important is he’s alive today, because he was able to defend himself.”
Wright operates a bar, Sheree’s Past Time, from the same building where he lives with his wife. The bar has been in business for more than 40 years and is considered to be a community center.
Around 6:30 a.m. on March 26, Robinson allegedly broke through a boarded-up window to get into Wright’s home, located behind the bar. Authorities said he was trying to steal liquor.
Wright was asleep with his wife at the time of the break-in, but when he heard Robinson breaking in, he got his gun and shot Robinson in the leg.
After Wright was charged with unlawful use of a weapon last week, a judge released him on his own recognizance. As he left the courthouse last week, he defended his actions, saying he would do the same thing again under the same circumstances.
“You would too,” Wright said. “Anytime a person invading your privacy, and wasn’t invited; just go do what you have to do,” Wright said.
His grandson, Courtney Cook, said it wasn’t the first time someone broke into Wright’s home.
“He’s tired of it,” Cook said. “An old man is protecting his family and his home. Is he supposed to be the victim?”
Robinson has been charged with burglary and is being held on $150,000 bail. He is due back in court on April 23.