Lee County Sheriff's Office: Home intruders shoot, kill 85-year-old man

Sarah Robinson

Update: Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones is holding a press conference this morning at 10 a.m. CT about early Tuesday's deadly home invasion.

Further information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Original Story: An 85-year-old man died overnight after exchanging gunfire with the two masked intruders who forced their way into his Cusseta residence, according to a press release from the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Curtis Thornton Rudd, the homeowner, was transported to the East Alabama Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead Tuesday at 2:05 a.m. CST.

His body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a postmortem exam, Harris stated in a separate press release.

Authorities said they were called to Rudd’s residence in the 3400 block of Lee Road 177 around 1:13 a.m. Tuesday after his wife reported that he had been shot during a home invasion.

Deputies arrived on the scene and found the man lying unresponsive on the floor with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a release.

The wife, who wasn’t harmed, said she and Rudd were awakened by the noise of the front door being forced open, officials said. 

She said two gunmen wearing ski masks then entered the house and immediately fired multiple shots at them. The elderly male victim returned fire, shooting at the suspects before they fled the scene, authorities said.

A individual who police have identified as a “person of interest” arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound and was taken into surgery. That individual’s current condition isn’t available.

Authorities have not named any possible suspects.

Rudd’s death marks the third homicide in Lee County this year, Harris confirmed.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 1-334-749-5651 or Lee County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-522-7847

— Sarah is a crime & safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.