Forty-seven-year-old Todd Burns is alive, though recovering from emergency surgery, because the person whose garage he broke into was kind (or foolish) enough to fire a warning shot.
Around 3:00am on Thursday morning, Burns and a female companion were driving through a quiet Arkansas neighborhood looking for (according to the woman) “free camping” in the area. Running low on gas, Burns got out of the truck and decided to sneak into a stranger’s garage, saying, “I’m going to go steal some gas from one of these farmers.”
Here’s the “farmhouse” he picked:
Considering the prevalence of gun ownership in rural Arkansas, it’s mildly interesting that Burns didn’t seem concerned about getting shot.
Upon hearing his garage alarm, the home owner investigated, shotgun in hand. Burns was still there when he arrived. The two men fought before the home owner broke free and fired a warning shot, giving Burns a chance to retreat relatively peacefully.
At that point, Burns began running, but it wasn’t clear where he was going – the home owner thought he was heading toward the front door of the house. That’s when he fired a second shot, this one in Burns’ direction.
Bleeding from the head, Burns ran back to his truck, but again, the tank was almost empty. The pair stopped less than a mile from the site of the home invasion and the woman called 9-1-1, saying she was with a man who had just been shot in the head. When police arrived, Burns was rushed to a hospital. Three loaded guns, as well as a knife, were found in the truck.
Burns was released from the hospital straight into the Crawford County Detention Center, where he’s now being held. The woman he was with has been questioned but has not been arrested or charged with any crime.