Fatal home invasion: 'He grabbed me and pushed me into the apartment'
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A man accused of attacking a woman returning to her home around 10:40 Monday night died after he was shot during the home invasion.
"I'm just glad I'm alive," Kay Dickinson said a day after the incident happened.
She was coming home from work when she noticed a man with a bag of garbage at the end of the hallway for her apartment.
Dickinson said she went to unlock her door and the man attacked.
"He grabbed me and pushed me into the apartment," Dickinson recalled. "We had a tussle and he choked me and gagged me, and I dropped everything right there in the kitchen."
Dickinson said the man, later identified as 35-year-old Willie Franklin Stith III, knew her name and her boyfriend's.
"He kept saying, 'give me the money, give me the money,'" Dickinson said, explaining she didn't keep any in the house.
Stith then lead Dickinson down the hall to the bedroom where he tied her hands behind her back with a belt and wrapped the cord of a cell phone charger around her mouth.
"As soon as he took me to the bedroom, I looked over and the gun was sitting there - and I was like, there's a reason the gun was sitting there," Dickinson said. "I was just hoping he wouldn't see it because if he saw it he might take it and I knew that was my only chance."
Dickinson was able to wiggle loose from the belt. She jumped on the bed, grabbed the gun and pulled the trigger.
Stith ran towards the front door and then collapsed. She called 911 and took the gun out of his hand.
"I didn't know if he was alive or dead," she said.
Police found Stith near the front door when they arrived at the apartment.
Dickinson was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. She has since been released.
No charges have been filed at this time.
According to the Department of Public Safety website, Stith has multiple convictions, including larceny and burglary. Stith also served multiple prison sentences, the most recent a 10-month stint for second-degree burglary that ended in August 2005.
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