AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WACH) — A home invasion Monday in Aiken County turned deadly after an elderly couple fought off the suspect.
Eighty-two-year-old Herbert Parrish and his 79 year old wife Lois Parrish said it was a normal Monday for them when they heard a knock at their back door around two in the afternoon.
“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 didn’t,” said Lois Parrish.
That’s when the situation became violent. Lois said as she was closing the door, the man, who has now been identified as 61-year-old Harold Runnels, pushed his way inside. According to a police report, Runnels pulled out a large knife and began attacking Mrs. Parrish.
“I felt, we’re gone. He’s going to kill us and take what he can take,” said Herbert Parrish.
That’s when the Vietnam Veteran decided to fight back.
“He was not going to go out that 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,” said Parrish.
Herbert Parrish was able to act quickly, grabbing hold of a shotgun that was hanging on the wall by the door. Parrish said he then hit the intruder with the handle of the firearm until Runnels was unconscious.
“I started hitting him in the head with the barrel and I know I must have hit him at least ten times right in the face, just as hard as I could hit him,” said Parrish.
Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables confirmed Runnels died at the Augusta University Medical Center later Monday night from the injuries he sustained during the attack.
Both Herbert and Lois Parrish were injured in the intrusion, but are both expected to fully recover.