Homeowner shoots at intruder after staying behind during hurricane

Published: Oct. 19, 2016 at 10:40 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2016 at 10:44 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, (WMBF) – Hurricane Matthew created the perfect storm for one would-be burglar, or so the suspect thought.

That was before the Myrtle Beach homeowner woke up and discovered the prowler.

"It was a strong guy, a big guy," said Ben Hough as he looked at his broken door. "I wouldn't have been able to kick that out."

The night Matthew hit, Hough's wife and grandchildren weren't home, leaving him alone and asleep. The family cars were not in the driveway, the power was out and the house was seemingly empty.

Then, a man took a rock and started smashing the glass out of his side door. Hough woke up immediately, listening to every step the intruder took over the broken glass.

"I knew pretty much where he was," Hough said.

The homeowner waited for the prowler at the top of the stairs while he made his way into the home.

"He came across my dining room and to the foot of my stairway. I had a revolver and fired at him twice," Hough said.

He added he could see the man with just enough light from what seemed like a nightlight the intruder was holding. He didn't have to come down the stairs because the two shots were enough to send the man running.

"I missed obviously, but I think I scared him," Hough said as he pointed to the bullet holes. "This one probably was my first one because a revolver, a gun will recoil and go up. So I would say that's the first one and that's the second one."

Hough, to his own surprise, was calm through it all but can't say the same for the intruder.

"He certainly didn't expect to see me," Hough said.

Before running around the staircase and back through the side door. Hough heard the man nearly choke.

"I called it a muffled scream. I think it got caught in his throat," he said.

With just enough charge to his cellphone, Hough was able to call the police.

"I don't remember anything about the hurricane at that time. But the police were just as nice as could be, and the police couldn't have been more helpful to me. They probably settled me down a lot," Hough said.

Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said that is because there were more officers on the road and ready to respond through the hurricane.

"We definitely had the officers on hand to increase our patrols," he said. "So we had officers on the roadway that were very visible."

Crosby said the department took measures to provide safety tips for people before the hurricane, took extra action during the hurricane and are now working with residents and surrounding agencies with the recovery process.

Anyone with information on this case, or if a homeowner's residence may have been a target through Hurricane Matthew, call Myrtle Beach police right away.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.