RAYMORE, Mo. -- A Raymore homeowner fought back against two armed men who broke into his home. The victims said they might not be alive if it weren't for one man's decision to fight back.
Jim Bernard, 68, says he wants to go out fighting if someone is trying to kill him. And that's exactly what he did Tuesday when two men with guns ambushed him inside his home.
"I swung around and BAM!" Bernard said, describing his counterattack on two home invaders.
Some might call Bernard crazy for taking on two men pointing handguns at him, with only his fists. But to hear him tell it, this was the only option that made sense to him.
"If you know somebody is going to shoot you, why would you just stand there or kneel down and let them shoot you in the back of the head?" Bernard asked. "Why wouldn't you fight them? At least you got a chance. Or you might take one of them with you."
Bernard says he left his garage door open Tuesday in the 600 block of Cedar Ridge Drive. The two armed robbers, men in their late teens or early 20s, surprised Bernard and his long-time partner by walking in through a doorway inside the garage.
"All of a sudden I heard this voice behind me that said, 'Get on the floor, face down. Do not look at me,'" said Donna Hunter, Bernard's partner. "I turned around and went what? And I looked straight down the barrel (of a gun)."
The invaders, who Bernard calls gang bangers, forced the couple to lay face down on the floor while they ransacked the home in search of money and jewelry. They also demanded the couple turn over their safe, an item they don't have.
"They said, 'You're going to the basement, we're going to look at that safe,'" Bernard said. "I figured they were going to take us down there and shoot us. Because nobody would hear those shots down there."
Once he got off the floor, Bernard decided to fight.
"The guy grabbed him, and that's all Jim was waiting for," Hunter said. "He wheeled around and the fight was on. He took on both of them. The guns were flying, and I'm about ready to lose it."
After knocking the guns out of their hands, Bernard says he scrambled to the kitchen, where he grabbed a butcher knife and went on the attack.
"I caught him right over there and that's when I stabbed him in his back shoulder-blade," Bernard said. "He dropped the bag. Then he told the other guy with the glock, I thought I heard him say, 'Pop a cap in him. Pop a cap in him. Shoot him!'"
But instead of shooting, the thugs grabbed their guns and ran out of the house so fast, one didn't even bother opening the screen door. He jumped through it instead.
"As far as these two punks," Hunter said, "I knew Jim could take them. Don't ask me why. But guns and all, I knew he could take them."
Bernard also managed to get the license plate number of the getaway car.
Police have recovered it and say there's plenty of evidence that should help them identify these dangerous hoodlums and get them behind bars soon.