Woman, 81, shoots homeless 'washer'

MOBILE, Ala. - An 81-year-old woman shot a homeless man Monday morning after finding him washing his clothes in her laundry room, police said.

Ethel Sanders told people she heard noises in her laundry room and found a man standing in his underwear near the washing machine when she went to investigate, police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant told the Press-Register.

Sanders was carrying a handgun and shot the man when he came at her, Gallichant said. Sanders fell to the ground and dropped the gun after firing, Gallichant said.

The man grabbed the gun, pointed it at Sanders and took his clothes from the washing machine, Gallichant said.

The man fled and Sanders called police just before 8 a.m. Officers caught the man at the nearby Plateau Community Center.

James Penn, 25, was taken to University of South Alabama Medical Center. Gallichant said he is expected to survive. Upon release from the hospital, Penn will be charged with first-degree burglary, Gallichant said.

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