Witnesses: grandson shoots granny's alleged attacker

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Karnesha Thomas hopes she and her tiny baby can one day escape their violent neighborhood.

"I'm scared to walk down the street...be so much going on," she said.

But Thomas and her neighbors say flying bullets may have finally found a worthy target: a man who invaded the home of an elderly woman.

"I think everybody happy," said one neighbor. "'Cause I'd rather he become a victim than me."

Witnesses say the suspect attempted to rape an 89-year-old woman inside her Memphis home Friday.

"And they heard the old lady screaming," said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified.

Two neighbors ran over to help, and just barely missed the attacker, who started walking down the street in plain sight of everyone.

""Cause everybody said 'you trying to rape that lady'" said the neighbor. "Then, five minutes later, I go up the street and he's lying on the sidewalk."

According to neighbors, the woman's grandson settled the score.

"When he pulled up, he shot him a couple of times," said witness Mary McGee. "Then, he jumped out of the car and hit him two or three times."

McGee says she knows the grandson, whom she describes as normally being calm and collected.

"Something had to happen to make him do it," she said.

And it's something many neighbors say warranted retaliation.

Memphis Police confirm that a relative of the elderly woman is in custody, but has not been charged.

The man who was shot is expected to survive. He has not been identified. But sources say he has an extensive criminal history that includes more than one rape.

to e-mail Jason Miles.