The incident occurred at Brentwood Place Apartments (Sycamore View Road) around 6:30 in the morning on Thursday last week. The woman was alerted to the burglary by noise outside her window.
When she looked out, she saw a burglar breaking into her neighbor’s car with a coat hanger, rummaging through the car, and then breaking into her car by smashing the window. As the burglar was about to run off with his loot, she walked outside her apartment to confront him and, very soon after that, shot him in the arm.
Neighbors ran outside in response to the sound of gunfire as well as the woman’s screams for help. Jhatavieus Corley, the alleged burglar, was lying on the ground.
“We heard someone screaming, ‘Help me,'” said Brande Cole, the neighbor whose car was also broken into. “I ran back there, my sister ran out. The girl had a gun in her hand. He was laying on the ground. She was shaking and said someone else call the police because they weren’t responding fast enough for her.”
When police arrived, Corley was transported to the hospital with non-critical injuries. The woman who shot him was taken into custody as well, but after questioning, she was released without charges. Corley, on the other hand, has been charged with burglary of a motor vehicle and theft.
In Tennessee, it is not legal to shoot someone who is breaking into your vehicle unless they present a direct threat to your life or a direct threat of serious bodily injury. Because few details about this altercation were released, we don’t know what convinced police that this shooting was justified. What we do know is that by walking outside to confront the burglar in the first place, the woman was walking a fine line.
Before the woman was released from custody, when it was still unknown whether she’d be charged, Brande Cole (that neighbor whose car was also broken into) spoke out in support of her actions:
“I think it’s scary if you go outside and someone is breaking into your stuff and you don’t know if he has a gun or not. So with adrenaline running through, you just react,” said Cole. “I don’t think she should get in trouble for it, though.”