It was a night of terror for 68-year-old Henry Daniel Jr. as he prepared to leave a Waynesboro business on Tuesday.
Daniel, the president of CP Daniel’s Sons Inc., had just activated the alarm at the office on Perry and Eighth streets when he was robbed by two men.
“I was watching the news on the TV and just relaxing because I don’t work there anymore, but I didn’t know I had to pay for it with my life,” Daniel said Thursday.
He reported the two men “continuously” punched and pistol-whipped him, while making demands for his money and firearms. But after five minutes of taking blows to the face, the 68-year-old hatched a plan to draw the attackers away.
“I wanted to lure them to the truck because I figured if I could give them one gun and get them off me, I would have a chance to shoot (with another) and that’s exactly what happened,” he said. “I got in the driver’s seat, they were about 10 feet from the truck, and I kept thinking they were going to shoot me, so when they were a little bit farther, I was able to reach in the back and get my 12-gauge shotgun, and that’s when I started shooting.”
Daniel sustained injuries to his face. He was taken to Burke Medical Center, where he received 25 to 30 stitches. Both suspects were taken to AU Medical Center with gunshot wounds.
WL Zaddrick Rouse, 17, has been released from the hospital and charged with armed robbery. He is being held at the Burke County Detention Center, Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard said. The second attacker, who has not yet been identified, is still listed as a suspect with no charges because he is still in medical care, Blanchard said.
Daniel described the incident as “the most brutal and vicious attack” he has ever witnessed or experienced.
“They would only talk about wanting money and guns, and beat me,” he said. “The brutality went on and on.”
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office praised Daniel on Facebook for his actions.
“He refused to be a victim and had the will to live while appropriately defending himself against armed robbers by shooting both of them, and ending the threat and the potential of their return,” the post on Facebook said. “We, along with the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, believe strongly in the Second Amendment and the right to protect oneself. We do our best to be proactive and responsive, but sometimes, when seconds count, we may be minutes away.”
Blanchard said Thursday that in Georgia, “a person who uses threats or force relating to the use of force in defense of self or others, relating to the use of force in defense of a habitation, or relating to the use of force in defense of property other than a habitation, has no duty to retreat, and has the right to stand his or her ground and use force, including deadly force.”