A Long Beach man who shot and killed a woman who he said was pregnant also claims she and her accomplice had stolen from him before.
Tom Greer, 80, told KNBC in an interview that he acted in self-defense Tuesday night and that the pair were the same people who'd twice burglarized his home before.
"They've been here twice so they know the routine," he told KNBC in an interview Wednesday.
Greer said that he walked into his Bixby Knolls home Tuesday night in the 3900 block of Country Club Drive – a quiet, safe neighborhood dotted with mom-and-pop storefronts – to find a man and woman trying to access his safe.
They tackled him, Greer said, but then let him climb to his feet and watch. He said he broke his collar bone in the initial confrontation.
The man then went to the home's garage to find something to help him break into the safe, and while the woman was momentarily distracted, Greer grabbed his gun – a 22-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.
When the couple saw that Greer had armed himself, they ran, he said, but he gave chase.
At some point in the moments that followed – the retiree did not specify to the KNBC reporter – the woman shouted, "'Don't shoot me! I'm pregnant – I'm going to have a baby!'"
"I shot her anyway," Greer said. "The lady didn't run as fast as the man so I shot her in the back twice --she's dead … but he got away."
Greer told the reporter that he then pulled the woman's body back toward his home. "I shot her twice, she best be dead."
Los Angeles County coroner's officials could not confirm if the woman, who was not immediately identified, was pregnant, pending an autopsy.
Long Beach police said that after questioning Greer, it appeared the woman had been killed after committing a criminal act.
Police planned to address the media later Thursday afternoon in light of the claims Greer made in the KNBC interview.
Greer told the station he had acted in self-defense and had no regrets. In fact, he said, the shooting may have scared off another burglar in the future.
"I've never in my life shot anybody, killed anybody ... but when the time comes to defend yourself, you best do something," Greer told KNBC. "Due to the fact his wife or girlfriend is dead, he might think twice before coming back."
Calls to several numbers listed for Greer and his family went unreturned Thursday.