Deputies: Pastor defends family, shoots burglar



A Cherokee County pastor grabbed his gun and fought back to protect his wife and three children after deputies said a burglar broke into his home.

Investigators said that just after 3 a.m. Thursday a man entered a house located on Santa Fe Trail, just south of Georgia Highway 92 in Woodstock. Deputies said the pastor heard 19-year-old Donovan Simmons breaking his basement window to try to get into the home. That?s when investigators said the pastor went to investigate, found Simmons, and fired in self-defense.

Investigators said Simmons received a gunshot wound to his head and ended up collapsing in the backyard. He was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. He was listed in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon.

Billy Kennedy lives across the street. He said the wife came running to his house looking for help. She kept telling Kennedy, "there's an intruder and my babies are in there." The wife and her 12-year-old child managed to escape, but the couple's two younger children were still in a front bedroom.

The husband wasn't hurt, neither were the two younger children, who slept through the whole ordeal.

Investigators said Simmons lives near the pastor's home, but it was not clear why the pastor was targeted. Charges for Simmons were pending as of Thursday evening.

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