Ohio Man Suspected Of Murder Shot By Georgia Man Defending Family During Home Invasion

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A man accused of killing an elderly woman in Ohio was recovering Friday at a Georgia hospital after he was shot twice during a home invasion, authorities said.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said Michael James Brooks II, 28, of Columbus, Ohio, will face charges of home invasion, burglary and theft by receiving in Georgia and murder charges in Ohio upon his release from an area hospital, WAGA-TV reported.

Fayette County 911 received a call just before 2 a.m. Thursday from a north Fayette County resident about a possible intruder. At the same time, the agency received a notice from an alarm company for that residence.

The homeowner, armed with a gun, confronted the intruder — who had a knife — in the basement, the sheriff's office said. Deputies said the homeowner warned the intruder before shooting him. The homeowner then left the basement and took up a position on the second floor staircase to protect his family, investigators said.

“There, he took his stand as the subject made his way up to the second floor. (He) made the comment, something to the effect of, ‘You’re going to have to kill me.’ When the resident fired a second shot. That was about the time the deputies got there. From what we can tell, he was coming down the stairway with a second gunshot wound,” Sheriff Barry Babb said. “At that point, they actually still struggled with him (as they) took him into custody.”

Investigators were able to tie Brooks to a deadly home invasion six-days earlier through a red Ford F-150 that was taken from Kettering, Ohio, investigators said.

“We don’t know what the connection is with Georgia, or if there was a connection; however, he is from Columbus,” said Columbus Police Deputy Chief Smith Weir during a press conference on Friday.

Attempts to determine Friday evening if Brooks has a lawyer who could speak on his behalf were unsuccessful.

Babb said the home invasion appears to be random. The sheriff also said it could have been anyone’s home he entered. He had apparently tried a couple of others in the neighborhood the sheriff described as upscale.

The Columbus Division of Police identified Brooks as the man responsible for the deadly stabbing of a 77-year-old woman in Columbus’ University District on Sept. 9. Investigators said Brooks did not know the victim.

Investigators were able to identify Brooks through forensic evidence collected at the home and obtained murder warrants for him on Wednesday. Despite all the physical evidence, police said a motive is still unclear.

Brooks had been released from the Franklin County Jail the night before the murder, police said. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of felony fleeing on aggravated assault charges. Police said he was released prior to sentencing in the case.

“Initially, he was on a parole hold. And the second part is, I believe, at a certain point, the parole hold ended, and he began serving time on the pending felony assault charge,” Weir said. “And at that point, he was awaiting sentencing, and I believe he bonded out at that point."

Police say he has an extensive criminal history, mostly around Columbus and its suburbs, but also along the Interstate 75 corridor.