Man who stabbed intruder: ‘Today was a tragedy’

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A West Pullman man stabbed a suspected burglar early this morning when he caught the intruder in his garage.  The burglar later died at a hospital.

44-year-old Mark Hayes woke up about 3:15 a.m. when the alarm in his garage went off.  When he went to check it out, he found himself face to face with a  burglar in his garage.

The burglar then attacked him with a hammer.

Hayes said he had no choice but to defend himself.  During the fight with the burglar, Hayes stabbed the man with a 7 inch fishing knife.

The wounded burglar ran away, leaving a trail of blood.  He made it to his car about a block and half away, and drove himself to a nearby hospital, where the he later died.

“Everything that happened today was a tragedy,” Hayes said.   “Somebody’s father, somebody’s son passed.  All I was doing was protecting my house and protecting myself.”

Hayes’s wife and two step children were home at the time.

Hayes’s father Melvin says his son is an ex-marine who has lived in the neighborhood for about 10 years.   He says he son feared for his life.

“He’s an ex-marine.  He knows how to operate under fire so to speak,” Melvin said.

Neighbors describe the neighborhood as safe, but Hayes says there have been problems lately.  It is one reason why Hayes’s  father says an alarm system was installed in the garage.

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