Three intruders had military-style weapons when they tried to break into the North Carolina home of NASCAR team owner and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Richard Childress late Sunday, authorities said Friday.
Childress, 72, said he was upstairs with his wife at about 10:30 p.m. when he heard glass shatter downstairs. He grabbed his handgun, went downstairs and fired multiple shots at the home invaders, scaring them off, according to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
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The intruders broke a window beside a doorknob, which sounded an alarm, the Winston-Salem Journal and other news outlets reported.
No one was injured, and nothing was taken from the home, Sheriff David Grice told the Winston-Salem Journal. Childress and his wife, Judy, live in Reedy Creek, an unincorporated part of the county near his race shop in Welcome.
Friends of Childress have upped the reward to $50,000 for information leading to arrests, the sheriff’s office said Friday. Sheriff’s investigators also posted more home surveillance photos of the intruders on Facebook.
The assailants appeared to wear glasses and all-black clothes, including hoodies and coverings over their faces, the sheriff’s office said.
Childress told the sheriff “the only reason he and his wife were here today was because of God and the Second Amendment,” Winston-Salem NBC affiliate WXII 12 reported. Childress is a second vice president of the National Rifle Association.
North Carolina state law permits homeowners to use deadly force if they have reason to believe that unlawful and forced entry occurred.
Reaction on social media to Childress shooting at the intruders was mixed.
“Too bad he missed,” wrote one man.
Others felt he shouldn’t have fired the gun.
“Makes me sad that I supported this GOP shoot firster for all those years,” one person wrote.
To which another commentator fired back: “Are you really that ignorant, three armed men try to enter his home and you are sad he shot first?”
Observer reporter Brendan Marks contributed