A teenager is recovering in the hospital after he was shot by his legally blind great uncle Sunday while breaking into his home, Tampa Police said.
Investigators said the 15-year-old cut the power to the home, then smashed a bedroom window.
"All of a sudden my power go off," said Melchisedec "Maya" Williams. "I'm like, 'wait a minute, what is going on?' Then I hear the footsteps come in the house."
Williams grabbed his gun and headed toward the sound of the shattered glass. He could see a light and a shadowy figured and asked the person whether he was his great nephew, but didn't get an answer.
"So I just shot where the light was at and I heard him say, 'ahhh!,' Williams told FOX 13.
Police said the teenager had armed himself with a knife from Williams' kitchen. Williams believes his great nephew had a friend with him who was also armed.
"Honestly I think they was coming in to try to kill me," he said, adding he thinks the teen was angry at him and wanted to retaliate. "Cutting the power off to my house, arming themselves with two steak knives, that's the only thing I could see that was coming to do, to do me bodily harm."
Family members tell us the bullet passed through an artery in the teenager's leg. He stumbled out of the house and across the street, where a neighbor, Connie Copeland, found him bleeding and called 911.
He's in serious condition, but expected to recover.
"Who knows. He probably would have bled to death. I lost a lot of blood," Copeland said.
Frankie Harris, the teenager's grandmother, said he's been troubled for years and has been in and out of the juvenile detention center as recently as the previous Sunday.
Harris said she's hopeful this sets her grandson down a better path.
"If we can get him to break loose from that crowd, I think he'll go back in the right direction," Harris said.
"I'm sorry that it was my nephew," Williams added. "But I hope this will be a wake-up call for him."