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Memphis man speaks out after killing violent suspect

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Larry Hampton had no way of knowing Friday night that he would be forced to shoot a man with a violent record who had led police on a manhunt the day before.

He was just trying to keep his truck from being stolen from his Cherokee-area home.

"I was in there asleep and my wife woke me, you know, I heard her call my name and heard her blow the car horn.  I came out and she was like, 'I was just attacked by this man,'" Hampton said.

"He went  across the street to where the other people's house is at. They fought him off. They had to use sticks and they knocked him down several times and he kept getting back up.

"He came back, and by that time he was back up on our truck trying to break the back window out."

Hampton said the man was going for the center console of his Nissan Frontier, where there was a weapon stored. He held the man at gunpoint and told him to stop. Then he fired two shots.

The man didn't stop, Hampton said.

"That's when I shot three more times and killed him," Hampton said. "If he got that gun,  I knew I couldn't stop him at that point."

Authorities pronounced Billy Ray Sanlin, 36, dead at the scene.

Police had tried to arrest Sanlin on several warrants Thursday but said he dragged an officer who tried to stop him from driving away in a stolen car.

A short time later Sanlin crashed the car and ran off, leading police on a manhunt that lasted most of the afternoon.

He ended up at Hampton's home on Poppen Drive late Friday.

No charges were filed against Hampton.

"When I was talking to him to get off the truck and leave and get off the property, he kept mumbling and uttering gibberish," Hampton said. "I'm still sorry this happened to this man. We just wanted him to stop and go into custody, whatever, just stop."