The survival mindset involves a lot of things, not the least of which includes using improvised weapons when necessary to defend your life. An 82-year-old Marine Corps veteran did just that in recent days. After seeing an intruder slash his wife’s face with a large knife, Herbert Parrish grabbed an unloaded shotgun from a wall mount and beat the violent intruder to death with it.

No doubt getting pummeled to death ranks right up there with getting stoned to death among the most unpleasant ways to exit this mortal coil. However, for the intruder, 61-year-old Harold Runnels, Jr., it came about as a result of a series of epic poor choices Monday afternoon in Jackson, South Carolina.

After Runnels pushed his way inside the Parrish home, he slashing a Marine’s 79-year-old wife’s face. The intruder then continued to beat the woman. That’s when Mr. Parrish, hardly a spring chicken, reacted like a good Marine. He struck the intruder in the face multiple times with all his might.

From The UK Daily Mail:

An 82-year-old Vietnam War veteran from South Carolina has been hailed a hero for protecting his wife from a knife-wielding home intruder by bludgeoning him to death with the butt of his shotgun.  

Herbert Parrish and his wife, 79-year-old Lois Parrish, told the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office that a man from a neighboring mobile home park knocked on the back door of their home on Dicks Street in Jackson, South Carolina, on Monday afternoon under the pretense of looking for his lost chihuahua. 

Lois said she told the man, later identified as 61-year-old Harold Runnels Jr, that she did not see his pet and went to close the door, at which point the suspect forced his way inside. 

During an interview with a local TV station, WPDE, the couple had put down a tarp to cover their blood-stained carpet until it could be replaced.

What a badass!

While Mr. Parrish didn’t have time to load his shotgun to deal with the home invader, he still did just fine. Especially considering his age.

His shotgun no longer rested on the wall of his living room during the TV interview. No doubt the local constabulary has taken it for evidence. Wouldn’t it be nice if some nearby people of the gun could chip in and provide him with a replacement?

127 COMMENTS

  1. Violence never settled anything. The Marine should have asked the attacker what he wanted, and given it to him. Then call police and let them deal with the attacker.

    Worst of all, because he owned an unnecessary shotgun, yet didn’t have it loaded, he failed to be prepared to follow President Biden’s advice to fire two shots out the back door, or front door, which would have ended the attack, or at least made the attacker stop the attack.

    Self-defense should not permit doing the same, or worse, damage to an attacker. That makes the defender no better than the attacker. The Marine should have taken the moral high road, and calmly de-escalated the situation, while presenting the attacker with a compassionate critique of his anti-social behavior, explaining to the attacker that talking through problems is the best way work through differences in viewpoints.

    Why can’t we all just get along?

    • Sam I Am,

      You were so close and yet so far.

      We all know that citizens are bumbling idiots and there is no way that mere citizens could have the ability to talk to the attacker and deescalate. The proper solution is that the husband should have called for a licensed clinical social worker to arrive on site and deescalate the situation.

      Now, before anyone screams about how the attacker might have kept slashing away and murdered the wife before the social worker arrived, that is an acceptable loss since we should never stoop down to the level of the attacker and respond in kind with violence. Yes, solutions which necessarily produce maimed/dead victims rather than maimed/dead attackers really are morally superior.

      (In case anyone is really dense, both Sam I am and I infused our comments with off-the-charts levels of sarcasm.)

    • Did we read the same article? *I* read that the Marine DID maintain the moral high ground, and DID carefully and effectively explain the flaws in the attacker’s life strategy. I think it was so effectively communicated that the attacker was convinced to completely and permanently cease and desist his nefarious ways. Altogether, a job well done, as expected from a Marine.

    • I just do not get you people, you constantly are missing the point. You have to have a balcony, you have to go out on the balcony and fire off two blasts.

      The two blasts must be fired from a balcony, that’s critical to the magic formula. Firing at ground level is utterly useless.

      Why the POTG consistently fail to recognize this simple fact is beyond me.

      How about some articles on making your own 3D Printed Tactical Balcony? I imagine Biden’s balcony ain’t tactical, probably an obstacle course of flower pots…….

      • Oh, they are tactical flower pots alright. In fact they are bullet proof flower pots which protect him while he is on his balcony and frame in strategic fields of fire.

      • The “Do Not Stand Your Ground” law clearly states that if there is a balcony available one must immediately leap from it.

    • To sam i am,you are what’s wrong with this country. These criminals deserve whatever they get. Mess with my family and see what happens, you will NOT like it. I was trained by the 101st Airbone Div., Bronze star in Vietnam. TRY ME!

  2. Always said an unloaded firearm is nothing more than a club or a rock. In this case a club did the job, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it working every time. Now will this be considered a DGU and listed as a death by firearm.

  3. You know, this argues against modern polymer stocks which lack the necessary density, weight, and stiffness to be effective bludgeons when you are forced to use your long gun as a club.

    Pro-tip: fill that hollow polymer butt stock with sand — or better yet steel shot! (I figure the end result would be too heavy if you filled the hollow polymer butt stock with lead shot.)

  4. Those damn white suprematists! We need more gun control! Anything shaped like a gun that could be used as a full semi automatic club with a 30 clip magazine capacity needs to be banned!

  5. OK…he needs new gun…AND new carpet/rug.
    Hope the neighbors jump in and help out on both of those.
    Hope the wife recovers quickly as well.

  6. “Some people will not see the sarcasm as you did not use the sarcasm font.”

    I sometimes write for the discerning literati.

  7. Did any of these “reporters” actually pay attention to the interview? The gentleman is wearing a hat that clearly says “US Army”, in addition to the Retired Army memorabilia. Then he plainly says he beat the intruder with the barrel of the shotgun. So naturally the story is that a former Marine beat the guy with the butt of a gun.
    Anyway, he did a fine job taking out a piece of trash. Invader Runnels lasted longer on the street than most of his kind, but better late than never.

  8. I love it when they take the gun as evidence.
    You’ve just ventilated (or bashed) some scumbag no doubt making enemies of the scumbags scumbag family and friends and the cops see fit to take your means of defense.

    Just photograph it, record the S/N and leave it where it belongs.
    What possible justification could there be to require confiscation of the item?

    • The justification is that you’re a subject, not a free citizen….. you will do whatever your overlords tell you to do…. and if you even THINK about stepping up, your overlords have their own Citizen Control Agents ready and willing to put you down like a rabid dog….

    • Shire-man,

      I hate to say this: police had to confiscate the shotgun because it is entirely possible, however unlikely, that this was an actual murder and NOT self-defense. For example the wife might have invited the deceased over for consensual intimate activity without her husband’s consent, the husband comes home early to find his wife about to do the deed, and then the enraged husband proceeds to assault the invited guest. And the invited guest, suddenly under attack, tries to defend himself with a knife and unintentionally slashes the wife in the process. Like I said, while unlikely that scenario is entirely plausible.

      Until the investigation is complete, police have to keep that shotgun.

      • Let’s assume for the moment that your alternative scenario is plausible. How does confiscating the shotgun help to establish this? If I beat you with it in self defense or in a jealous rage, what is the visual difference? We’ve already established that the homeowner used the gun to beat the deceased.

      • How would the shotgun assist in proving or disproving such a chain of events? Sorry, it still looks stupid and abusive to me.

        (edit) Wow, Jim, same comment at the same time! Bet we can’t do that again!

        • Jim and Larry,

          Suppose that the husband acted in righteous self-defense and provides police with an initial statement to that effect — fully convinced that his local District Attorney will agree and refuse to charge the husband. However, the local District Attorney decides to charge the husband with murder anyway and they go to trial. At that point, under the advice of his defense attorney, the husband recants his initial statement and then his defense attorney challenges the prosecutor to prove that the husband even touched the shotgun much less used it kill the deceased. If the prosecutor never possessed the shotgun, the prosecutor could never pull the husband’s fingerprints or the husband’s DNA from the shotgun to prove that the husband touched the shotgun. Without any evidence tying the husband to the shotgun, the prosecutor’s case fails and the husband walks.

          So, the police seize the shotgun and hold it in evidence just in case the prosecutor wants to go to trial and convict the husband.

    • Standard procedure I’m afraid. I work in my county Sheriff’s evidence room and we get guns for safekeeping all the time. It will only be held until the DA says that it can be returned. In this case that shouldn’t be long.

      This is why you need a backup weapon, so you are never left unarmed.

    • The chain of evidence must be maintained in order for it to be admissible. They’ll probably do all sorts of matching of contusions and fractures with surfaces of the gun. They need to test blood and tissue on the gun to prove that it matches dead guy. They’ll match fingerprints to see if Herbert was holding the shotgun In the end, they’ll be able to conclude that Herb wasn’t lying about bludgeoning the guy with the shotgun. It doesn’t prove motive or defensive action, but it is a piece of exonerating evidence.
      On the other hand, in the unlikely event that they find someone else’s fingerprints or the shotgun doesn’t match the damage to the body, they have evidence Herb lied and needs further investigation.
      Once they decide not to charge Herbert, the evidence will be returned. Unfortunately, the blood will have sat on the gun for weeks/months and rusted the gun.
      I wish there was a donation site to get them a new gun and carpet.

  9. “Anything shaped like a gun that could be used as a full semi automatic club with a 30 clip magazine capacity needs to be banned!”

    Only if it has a thingy that goes up in the back.

  10. This is why I always laugh at the gun control nuts who wet their pants over the supposed dangerousness of a collapsible or folding stock.

    • It might have been a wall hanger–inoperable and just there for looks. I hope it wasn’t a heirloom shotgun or, if it was, that he’ll be able to get it back. It deserves a place of honor on the wall in his house for the great job of defending his wife.

  11. It’s a good thing the intruder didn’t see it first, but at least he couldn’t have used it to shoot anyone. If it were loaded, Mr. Parrish might not have had to work so hard to end the scuffle. Well, he was being what the other side would call a somewhat responsible firearm owner, since it wasn’t loaded hanging on the wall. Thankfully this ended with the innocent folks both alive 😇

    • According to leftists a responsible firearm owner is someone who doesn’t own firearms. They just rent them from a government-licensed range occasionally.

  12. I’m glad he killed the intruder. Semper Fi you people who want to leave us defenseless suck. He should have loaded his gun and shot him any way. USMC Third marines

  13. Does anyone have his home address ? I’d like to send him a fifty dollar check for making the world a little safer.

  14. “What possible justification could there be to require confiscation of the item?”
    – evidence needs to be physically examined by experts
    – evidence needs to be evaluated for illegal components
    – evidence needs to be reviewed for illegal modifications
    – evidence needs to be collected immediately so that a potential suspect cannot “lose”, sell, swap out, modify the “as it happened” condition
    – if there is a trial, defense attorney will demand to see the evidence in the condition it was found at the scene
    – if pictures indicate that the weapon is illegal, or stolen, or modified illegally, returning to the scene to retrieve the evidence is more difficult and dangerous

    Note: no shooting is a “good shoot” until government says it is; cops do not have that authority.

    • Bull. I notice they did not confiscate the bloody carpet or the trailer. Just the gun. Even though it was not used as a gun.

  15. “The proper solution is that the husband should have called for a licensed clinical social worker to arrive on site and deescalate the situation.”

    Since the licensed clinical social worker network coordinating with police/911 isn’t uniformly established across the nation, I took a more general position. However, I am also prescient: there will come a day when individuals will be held accountable for not being trained social workers who can best deal with violent situations.

    Did like your expanded description of the proper method of dealing with armed attackers.

    • Don’t forget to act as a good witness. As you stand back and watch your wife be attacked, remember the number and order of slashes and stabs. Pay attention to anything he says while attacking your wife since it might show wrongthink.

  16. “…if you even THINK about stepping up, your overlords have their own Citizen Control Agents ready and willing to put you down like a rabid dog….”

    Just as it should be for evermore, roger wilco over and out, ten-four and even, amen and awoman.

    So let it be said, so let it be written.

  17. Wonderful outcome…hope your wife recovers! Oh my tactical crap shotgun has a breaching jagged thing in front. Hitting a miscreant with that would HURT😏

  18. “Oh my tactical crap shotgun has a breaching jagged thing in front.”

    Are you talking about a chainsaw bayonet? Kooo-el. Can you post a picture?

  19. “…the Marine DID….carefully and effectively explain the flaws in the attacker’s life strategy. I think it was so effectively communicated that the attacker was convinced to completely and permanently cease and desist his nefarious ways.”

    The 82yr old lost social justice points for employing violence as a persuader. It is not the outcome that counts, but the method. If everyone acted as the 82yr old did, why there might be a whole lotta defending going on out there.

    Besides, talk is cheap. A potentially lost shotgun creates an expensive, unnecessary burden on the 82yr old.

    • This retired veteran “was not a Marine’ and was not just any old plain Jane NCO (Noncommissioned Officer) sergeant either! This gentleman was an “E-9 Command Sergeant Major”. The Command Sergeant Major is the 12th rank in the United States Army among the enlisted group, only one rank is higher, and that is also an E-9, and only one person holds that rank, thee “Sergeant Major of the Army”. Lets give retired Command Sergeant Major Herbert Parrish his due props!

      • Command Sergeant Major! I’m surprised he didn’t just rip the invader into pieces with his bare hands. Those people may be “only” non-coms, but any intelligent officer knows enough to respect them.

  20. Sure hope Mrs. Lois Parrish heals up well. Awful thing at any age, and in your 80’s the body isn’t as able to heal as in younger years.

    Not unusual for the shotgun to be taken into evidence until the case is closed. Maybe some friendly neighbor could loan him a spare, if he doesn’t have another of his own.

    Nice thing to do would be for the cops to return it all cleaned up and shiny, smelling of fresh gun oil. That’d be a kind gesture.

    A good outcome on the whole, considering how badly it could have ended 🙂

    • Unfortunately the gun will be returned scratched, dented, and with new patina from careless storage. If it is returned at all and doesn’t end up in a police officer’s personal collection.

      • That ain’t no shit. When I asked I was told” Well a lot of us officers are gunm collector’s too”
        They flat out stole one in 91, trumped up concealment charge when they found it on top of the car. For sure I had it in my pocket but they didn’t find it there.

  21. Mr. Parrish make me pride to be an American & a son of South Carolina.
    I hope they have a much quiter year & that all is well with them.

  22. Instead of giving the old guy a medal on the spot, they steal his gun.

    My pro-cop days have dwindled down to nothing….

    Who do you think will be coming down to confiscate ALL your guns/ammo/knives???
    It sure won’t be the social workers.

    It will be the guys driving armored vehicles, and they will be “JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS.”
    Hitler will be so proud of his boys…..

  23. “The two blasts must be fired from balcony, that’s critical to the magic formula. Firing at ground level is utterly useless. Why the POTG consistently fail to recognize this simple fact is beyond me.”

    OK, you’re saying the balcony absolutely must physically exist? I interpreted Biden to merely use the term as meaning any ingress/egress point (like even a window). Have you asked Biden to clarify the rules in writing? You might also want to check if an actual balcony must be constructed of traditional materials. A 3D printed balcony would be koooo-el, and all, but there could be lotsa restrictions on that. Like micro-stamping each layer, and creating an unalterable serial number on each layer. I don’t think it is as simple as you make out. And completing a federal background check if you ever decide to sell your 3D printed balcony.

  24. Beware the man with one gun. He probably knows how to beat you to death with it. If he owned an LCP instead, he’d probably still be wailing on the perp.

  25. “It’s a BREACHING tool. Jagged edge & very hard.Not a bayonet.”

    Well….couldn’t a chainsaw bayonet serve as a type of breaching tool?

  26. “If he owned an LCP instead, he’d probably still be wailing on the perp.”

    Nah. The old guy would be completely exhausted after the first hour.

  27. “The “Do Not Stand Your Ground” law strictly states that if there is a balcony available one must immediately leap from it.”

    Well, that’s poopy. Are the regulations regarding the minimum height above the ground that qualifies a balcony to be subject to that law?

      • Unless of course he pulled a John Basilone or moved from the USMC to join a specialized SOF unit that exists under the Army, which has been something the DoD has allowed for quite a long time.

        • Sure. And then for some reason decided to dump anything that said USMC, but keep a wall full of US Army stuff. I’ve known a few Marines who switched over to Army. Never met one that kept it a secret though. Seems like the most obvious reason for the confusion is piss poor journalism instead of undercover Marine.

  28. So where can I send five bucks to help our hero get a new shotgun to hang on his wall? It would look much prettier than a baseball bat.

  29. RE: the hat. He may have a son or grandson in the Army and wears that in support. A hat doesn’t qualify as official association. Regardless, he did what any Marine would do: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. So even if he is Army, he deserves the same praise as a Marine.

  30. One more thing: That “once a Marine, always a Marine”, requires a man (or woman) to earn that not just once, but every day for their entire life. There is a list of actions that will strip an individual of that honorific. Attempted murder, sabotage, theft, cowardice, etc. I put a man in Leavenworth, and more than one in the brig and subsequent dishonorable discharge for those crimes. They should never have been in the Corps to start with, and they were, and are, truly Ex Marines.

  31. Guessing that the Bloomberg Ladies will consider this a “Gun Violence Death”.

    On a more serious note:
    What Mr. Parrish did demonstrate was the will…the desire to continue living. That will / desire drove him to take down a man 21 years his junior using the best tool available at the moment.

    G-d bless him for keeping his wits about him and effectively stopping the attacker.

    Final score:
    Old Vet – 1
    Scumbag – 0

  32. Wait, what, hold on there with the hero congratulations. This was purely a drug related crime. Looking for my chihuahua is code talk and especially “White Chihuahua ” the good high blood pressure pills are not covered by medicaid.

  33. “Looking for my chihuahua is code talk and especially “White Chihuahua ”…”

    Interesting thought. The story does seem to be odd, doesn’t it?

  34. “The gun is not evidence of a crime, since self-defense in one’s home is not a crime.”

    Whether a shooting is “self-defense” is purely up to government to decide. Cops do not have authority to adjudicate. Evidence is not collected after government makes the decision, but before.

  35. “To sam i am,you are what’s wrong with this country.”

    Ok, try again. Read the commentary slowly, and with discernment, not knee-jerk reaction. All the clues are there.

    Might also want to spend some time here, observing, to get a “feel” for who generally says what.

  36. I literally clicked this just to see a picture of this old timer. Confirmed, everything I expected. Classic. Who the fuck else could beat someone with a shotgun? Different generations for sure. +1 to this Devil Dog. Legend status.

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