Veteran says gun saved life in home invasion

Published 12:11 pm Friday, October 31, 2014

An 82-year-old Korean War veteran who shot a woman accused of breaking into his home says having a gun probably saved his life Wednesday when the woman kicked down his door and entered his home.

“I know it saved my life,” said 82-year-old Roosevelt Wilson who shot 42-year-old Betty Robertson after she entered his home Wednesday morning with her boyfriend Carl Marshall.

Robertson was taken to University of Mississippi Medical Center where she was listed in good condition this morning. She is expected to be charged with home invasion upon her release from the hospital.

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Wilson, who grew up in Vicksburg, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and spent his post-war career as in the maintenance department at Vicksburg National Military Park. A plaque honoring him for 30 years of service to the park sits on a shelf next to the door he says Robertson kicked in at his home on a high, wooded hill overlooking the 3100 block of Wisconsin Avenue, Wilson said.

“I wasn’t just going to let her in. I knew what she wanted — to rip me off,” he said.

Police have said Robertson had come to the home multiple times under the pretext of bringing food. It was all a ruse to get inside his house, Wilson said.

“She started making up lies to get in the house. I stopped letting her in,” he said.

During one of her trips to the home, Robertson had stolen money, Wilson said Thursday.

“That’s what made her come back. I knew she was up to no good,” he said.

So when Robertson came to his home Wednesday morning and demanded to come in, Wilson refused and grabbed the .38-caliber pistol. When Robertson came inside, he fired without hesitation, striking the woman in the leg.

“I’m up here on this hill by myself. I can’t stay up here empty handed,” Wilson said.

Though Robertson had come to his home several times, Wilson said, he had never seen Marshall.

“It was his first time coming up here,” Wilson said. “I know they were targeting me.”

Marshall was arrested and charged with home invasion at about 9:50 a.m. Wednesday after he called police to report Robertson had been shot in the thigh, Vicksburg police Capt. Sandra Williams said.

He is expected to appear in Vicksburg Municipal Court today where bail will be set in the case, Williams said.

Marshall, 55, 1864 Natchez Ave., was convicted in 2008 of molesting a 13-year-old girl in 2004, according to court records. Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick sentenced him to five years in prison followed by five years’ probation.

The home invasion on Wisconsin Avenue came two days after an intruder tied up a mother and child at a home on Roseland Drive before the child escaped, retreived a gun and got in a shootout with the burglar.

The victims described the home invader as a 6-foot black man wearing black pants and a gray, hooded sweatshirt, Williams said.

Anyone with information about the Roseland home invasion is encouraged to call Vicksburg police at 601-636-2511 or Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers at 601-355-8477. Callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and do not have to testify in court.

Crime Stoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of a felony suspect.