‘I was fearing for my life,’ business owner shoots man breaking into his bar

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DEPUE, Illinois -- Sheriff's Deputies say they won't pursue charges against a business owner who took aim at a man he says was breaking into his bar.

Chuck Casford, the owner of The Junction Tavern was in a living space attached to the bar when he says he heard a noise around 5:30 a.m., Saturday, January 28, 2017.

Armed with a gun, Casford went into the tavern and saw 42-year-old Jackie Popp, of Ohio, Illinois shuffling through drawers.

“When I confronted him he turned around, put his hands in his pockets and I gave him verbal commands and he just kept coming, he kept coming at me," Casford said. "I gave him another verbal command three or four times and he just kept advancing you know, at the time I was fearing for my life.”

That's when Casford shot Popp in his upper right leg.

"He was begging for air, that's when he kind of crawled over towards the door and started asking for water, so I went back in my residence and got a couple bottles of water and held his head up, kept him hydrated and did whatever first aid I could until the emergency personnel could show up on the scene," said Casford.

Popp was taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

While Casford says it's not a decision he's proud of, it's a decision he was forced to do, "I gave him every opportunity to, you know, not go the route he did. He could have came at me, if I didn’t react the way I did, he could have overpowered me took my weapon and used it against me.”

Investigators found that Popp was on parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections for a 12 year sentence for burglary in Whiteside County from 2010.

Charges against Popp are pending.

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