As with many newsworthy story’s, social media has a way of bringing them up again as if they occurred yesterday, when in reality they are “old” news, as is the case with this amazing headline. I personally believe these stories should make periodic revivals to show how “good” can overcome “evil” when the right person steps up to intervene, but I would also like to see the overall outcome of the incident updated as well.
I will repeat the story as it happened, but I will also be adding the additional information I have gathered regarding the assailants as well as the victims.
According to witnesses on the scene, a 67 year-old man (Kenneth Byrd), his wife and his 19 year-old granddaughter were in their home on Yedda Road in Lumberton, North Carolina, when a black male knocked on their door, asking for assistance with mechanical problems he was having with his car.
Two others (Brandon Carver Stephens, 28, of Fairmont and Jamar Hawkins, 17, of Lumberton) entered the home wearing black clothing, ski masks and gloves, asking for money. They were all carrying illegally obtained and owned handguns.
According to accounts, the man and his wife were forced into the back of the house and told to open the safe, while the other men began to sexually assault the 19 year-old granddaughter.
Kenneth Byrd, the grandfather was able to retrieve his shotgun and immediately began firing, shots were exchanged between him and the attackers. Byrd was struck eight times by his attackers, but managed to shoot each of them at least once. The suspects fled in Byrd’s stolen Cadillac, but not before severely beating him, his wife and granddaughter.
From on scene accounts neighbors across the street said she heard shots ring out from the house which is located in a quiet, secluded neighborhood and started questioning what was happening, when her answers came in the form of her bloodied neighbor, Kenneth Byrd, standing at her door.
“I don’t know how he ever made it across that road,” said the woman.
According to reports Byrd’s heart had been pierced by one of the many bullet wounds he received. He had been shot four times in the leg, three times in the arm (shattering the bone) and his head had been so severely beaten that they believed he had been shot there as well.
“It just scared me to death,” she said. “You’re not expecting something like that.”
She stated that she heard more shots from inside the Byrd home, before she had the chance to call 911, stating that the police came quickly, but she had to call the ambulance twice. She said that while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Kenneth Byrd was lucid, although had trouble breathing, but was able to clearly describe the events that had transpired just moments before, yet for some reason refused to come inside her home.
“He kept lookin’ over there towards the house,” she said.
She said there were no strange cars outside the home, implying the attackers must have been on foot. They eventually fled the scene in Byrd’s gold Cadillac, which was found later about six miles away by Robeson County Sheriff’s Deputies on Singletary Church Road. Jamie Lee Faison, 20 was found in the car, dead from gunshot wounds inflicted by Byrd.
“I didn’t think he had that in him,” she said, also adding that she did not know 17 year-old Jamar Hawkins, or 20 year-old Jamie Lee Faison. She stated that she thought the men were looking for prescription pills, knowing that the Byrds both had medical conditions.
Henry Pittman, Byrd’s next-door neighbor, said he was watching television when he heard the gunshots.
“I heard pow, pow, pow, and knew something was going on,” said Pittman, who has known and lived next to the couple for more than 20 years.
He said he stepped outside to investigate the noise and saw a bloodied Byrd across the street, standing at the neighbor’s front door, “hollering for help”
“They beat Kenneth. I mean they beat him bad,” Pittman said.
Moments after seeing Byrd across the street he observed the teenage granddaughter escape from a window and run across the yard toward his house. He said she was partially dressed, and her clothes were torn. She claimed that she had been sexually assaulted, and according to further reports, they attempted to rape her.
“They got what they deserved,” Pittman said. “They kicked the wrong door in.”
He told reporters and law enforcement that he had seen at least two of the intruders, including Stephens, in the neighborhood before the incident. He also stated that he believed the men were dropped off at the end of the street and walked to the Byrd house.
Also according to Pittman, Kenneth Byrd didn’t believe in banks, and has told people that he keeps large sums of cash in his home. He said is was just like Byrd to “take care of himself, everything in the house and managed to get across the street for help”.
“The old man showed me,” he said. “I’m proud of him.” He told reporters that violent crime is occurring more frequently in the sleepy little neighborhood, in part to increased drug and gang activity.
“It’s always been quiet except for the last year or so,” Pittman said. He also stated that he though about getting his own gun during the home invasion, but decided against it because he didn’t “keep it loaded”, but added; “I keep it loaded in my closet now,”
Reporters Sarah Willets and Jaymie Baxley from The Robesonian also interviewed another woman from across the street who said she never thought the violence would ring out so close to home, especially to such nice neighbors.
“They’re real nice, help you anyway they can, do anything for you,” she said. “He was trying to protect his family,”
Kenneth Byrd was transported to Southeastern Regional medical Center and later airlifted to a larger facility where he remained in serious condition until his eventual release.
Officers received a call from McLeod Hospital in Dillon, South Carolina where they found both Stephens and Hawkins had been admitted and treated for the gunshot wounds they received during the incident. Both were placed under arrest, airlifted to a larger facility, then booked after their recovery.
What I have found out thus far:
Kenneth Byrd has completely recovered from the multiple gunshot wounds, is back at home and living life no differently. He is and has been a firearms owner for many years, and has no plans to ever-changing that habit. He has not given any interviews since the incident, but we will keep trying to get as much information as we can.
His wife and granddaughter are doing fine as well.
Jamar Hawkins was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, first-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, first-degree sexual offense, two counts of robbery with a firearm, two counts of felony conspiracy, three counts of kidnapping and a probation violation. His bail was set at $1 million dollars, and his trial is slated to start in June.
Brandon Carver Stephens is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, first-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, a probation violation, first-degree sexual offense, two counts of robbery with a firearm, three counts kidnapping and two counts of felony conspiracy. His bail was also set at $1 million dollars. I was told by Robesonian reporter Sarah Willets that he made bail, committed more crimes, violating that parole and will be facing the judge in June as well.
Jamie Lee Faison, was tried at the scene from the “working end” of a 12 ga. shotgun, found guilty by buckshot and sentenced to die a lonely death in the victim’s stolen “Caddie”. He got exactly what he deserved.
These and many other stories of homeowners successfully thwarting home invasions are rarely reported upon by our Mainstream Media, so when I have the opportunity to showcase one such incident and prove that protecting yourself from these types of predators is the only way you will survive… I’ll do it every time. Law Enforcement will always arrive, as soon as they can. The question is; Will they arrive in time to save your life?
Owning and using a firearms takes considerable responsibility, but in the proper hands, it can be the most significant tool in the box.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams