Thomas Autry, who authorities said will not be charged, was walking home from his job waiting tables Monday night when four people got out of a car and chased him, Atlanta police detective Danny Stephens said. One attacker had a shotgun, and another had a pistol.
“My first instinct was to run, but they cornered me, so I had no other choice than to defend myself,” Autry said. (Watch how the 6-foot-6 ex-Marine got ready to fight for his life – 3:29)
The suspects caught up with Autry, who yelled for help and pulled a knife out of his backpack. He kicked the shotgun out of one of the attacker’s hands and stabbed both a 17-year-old girl who jumped on him and a man who also attacked him.
The suspects fled in their car, but police found them later at a hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead. The stabbed man was in critical condition, Stephens said.
Autry’s attackers will face robbery and assault charges and are suspected in other recent robberies, Stephens said.
Autry, 36, suffered a cut to his hand and a bruise on his chest, Stephens said.
Autry said he was honorably discharged in 1992 after serving for four years. The Department of Defense confirmed his service.