Elderly Vietnam Veteran Bludgeons Intruder to Death Who Attacked His Wife

elderly vietnam veteran

Aiken County, SC – Herbert Parrish is an 82 year old elderly Vietnam Veteran, married to his wife Lois Parrish. On Monday at around 2 p.m., a home intruder forced his way into their home, and slashed Lois’ forehead with a knife. Herbert grabbed his shotgun and beat the man to death to protect his wife, himself, and his home.

What happened?

An unexpected knock at their door was answered by Lois Parrish,79. The man, identified as 61 year old Harold Runnels, claimed he was looking for his “little white chihuahua” and wanted to know if she had seen it.

I opened the door and he said he was looking for his little white chihuahua and wanted to know if I saw it. I told him no, I hadn’t.

Lois Parrish

At that point, he forced his way into their home and slashed Lois on the forehead. Big mistake.

The elderly Vietnam veteran grabbed his shotgun off the nearby wall and repeatedly beat Runnels until he went unconscious.

I felt, we’re gone. He’s going to kill us and take what he can take. He was not going to go out the door and leave us alive. That’s the way I felt. That’s why I said ‘I’ve got to do something quick and get the edge on him. Get the advantage on him.

Herbert Parrish

Parrish said he hit the man “as hard as I could” about ten times.. which rendered him unconscious. By the time police got there and transported Runnels to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. Police said that Mr Parrish did defend himself, but that it would be better if they called for help first. It depends on the situation.

“Folks have the right to defend themselves if their lives are in danger, but the best thing to do is call for help. Every situation is going to be different. It may be a similar crime in nature, but every situation is going to be different. There’s no way to accurately predict exactly what actions that any person should take if somebody is trying to invade their home. The best recourse is to think smartly and get help on the way.”

Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Abdullah (The Blaze)

Getting help on the way is good advice, but sometimes there isn’t time to do that. It’s the old “When seconds count, police are only minutes away” adage. Mr. Parrish did what he thought he had to do to protect his life, his wife, and his property. He apparently didn’t have time to load the shotgun, or perhaps he didn’t have shells handy.

There is only one thing they know for sure: Runnels picked the wrong house.


Featured photo: Herbert and Lois Parrish, Screenshot via Twitter (WACH)

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