January 8, 2013
In Al Michaud’s chair, nestled into the cushion, rests a .357 magnum.
A 20 gauge shotgun leans against the wall behind him.
To his left, a machete is within reach.
This is not a guy to go after.
“I think they thought I would be an easy victim,” said Michaud, the live-in manager of apartments loosely known as the St. Vrain Apartments on East St. Vrain Street. He doesn’t get around well because of a bad back and legs.
Michaud, 56, shot two of the three men who pushed their way into his apartment Monday night. One is in the hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest.
“There was a knock on my door,” Michaud said. “I said, yeah? They opened the door and came in real quick. I shot one guy in the chest and the second guy in the leg.”
The third man jumped on top of him and tried to wrestle the gun away.
“Either I was stronger than him or more scared. I shoved him off,” said Michaud, who was not injured. “I didn’t know if they wanted to rob me or to kill me.”
Colorado Springs police said in a news release that Michaud did not know his attackers. After the shooting, the men tried to flee but only made it about block because of their injuries, police said.
Police declined further comment later Tuesday because of the ongoing investigation.
Under Colorado's so-called Make My Day law, residents can use deadly force against intruders.
A round hole in Michaud’s wall near the door marks a spot one of the rounds hit.
Michaud said he keeps the weapons around because of the neighborhood. The area, near Platte Avenue and Union Boulevard, is speckled with tiny cottages, some in disrepair, others well kept.
“Every day in this neighborhood something happens,” he said.
Victoria Scott, who lives at the other end of the apartments, said she didn’t know anything was going on until she saw the flashing lights from the police cars.
Debra Coolidge, who lives a few doors away, said she saw the men approaching the building as she drove up, but really didn’t think too much of it at the time.
Jackson Leiner said he heard the shots and ran outside because he thought someone was breaking into his truck. He saw the men running away and thought for a moment about chasing them but decided against it.
“I thought they might have guns and I didn’t want to get shot,” he said.
On Tuesday, Leiner was installing a surveillance camera outside of Michaud’s door.
“It’s his camera,” he said. “I wanted to put it up. He’s my friend.”