Gunman charged in shooting of 72-year-old Detroit woman

Published On: Feb 08 2013 07:38:38 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 10 2013 07:23:19 PM EST
DETROIT -

Thelma Truesdale is a person who embodies everything that’s right with Detroit. 

Friday morning, inside her own home of 45 years, everything that’s wrong with Detroit showed up at her door. 

At 5 a.m., a 23-year-old man forced his way into Truesdale’s home on Sussex Street -- near Puritan on the city’s northwest side.

Police sources tell Local 4 the man was there to steal. Then, he tried to take Truesdale’s life. 

Instead of walking out with the woman’s property, the man walked upstairs to Truesdale’s bedroom. 

Still in her bed, that man shot her three times.

She shouldn’t still be with us, but the 72 year old is. 

She is in temporary serious condition at the hospital. 

The gunman hit Truesdale in her arms and legs, missing vital organs. 

Her grandchildren rushed to her home in tears.

They told Local 4 her name, how she’s loved and watched over in this still proud neighborhood and then they rushed off to the hospital. 

“It’s awful,” said Ken Jackson.  He checks on Truesdale and the other seniors in the area. 

Up and down the street on Sussex, men were shoveling snow so their older neighbors could get out of their driveways.  

“It’s getting so bad,” he said.  

The Capture 

In the dark, in a snowstorm that gunman could have gotten away easily.

Instead, police captured him in stunningly easy fashion. 

Police followed footprints in the fresh snow that led them all the way down the street several blocks to a vacant house.

The house appeared well cared for.

The side door was open.  Police carefully went down in the dark basement and wet footprints on the clean floor led them to an old furnace box.

Police looked inside and the gunman stuffed himself in the tiny box.

The arrest was made. 

The gunman was identified as Terry Lyons. He was charged Sunday on five charges including assault with intent to murder and home invasion in the first degree.

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