Man charged after firing shots at attempted car thief

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man is facing assault charges tonight after police say he took the law into his own hands to defend his property.

Investigators say Cedrick Thomas used his gun to try and stop a pair of car thieves at his home in 4000 block of Comanche in Parkway Village on New Year's Day.

He told authorities he was helping his child get dressed as he waited for his car to warm up outside. That's when he heard a car door slam and rushed outside to find one man sitting in the driver's seat.

Thomas reportedly fired three times at the vehicle as the suspect began to back away.

The attempted crook surrendered and was held at gunpoint until police arrived.

A second suspect fled the scene.

A man who chose to remain anonymous says his wife heard gunshots coming from the house two doors down.

"I wasn't even here. I came back and saw the police," the neighbor said.

He says it's probably not a good idea to leave your car running, and he would have done the same thing to protect his property.

"I leave my car running all the time, because I'm watching it. If someone tries to take my car, I am going to shoot at them too," the neighbor said.

Police said Thomas admitted to shooting the weapon and was charged with aggravated assault.

Tennessee law says you can use deadly force to protect your life, but not your property.

The law also says if you use deadly force, you must have a reasonable belief you were in imminent danger of death or serious injury.

Still, the neighbor doesn't think Thomas should have been arrested for trying to stop a criminal.

"If someone is trying to steal your car, you are going to react to it," the neighbor said.

We are working to learn more on the other suspect.

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