51 Year Old Gun
Saves 83 Year Old Man
By Jim Herron Zamora - San Francisco Examiner Staff Writer

A.D. Parker didn't pay much attention to the old revolver he kept stashed under his bed.
He bought the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson 51 years ago and by his own reckoning fired it only seven or eight times - and not at all for about 30 years. He rarely oiled the weapon and, for decades, just left it beneath a rug under his bed.
But in the one brief moment in his life when the 83-year-old Parker really needed a gun, it worked.
San Francisco police say Parker, apparently acting in self-defense, shot and killed an armed burglar who pried open the back door of his home in Hunters Point and tried to enter his bedroom.
"He was there at my bedroom door," Parker said. "I shot him just that once. . . . If I had waited a second longer, I don't think I'd be around to tell my story."
"I really wished that he had lived," said Parker, a widower who is often home alone. "I never thought I would kill another person. I just wanted to stay at home and mind my own business."
The intruder, Michael Moore, 49, was pronounced dead a short time after the shooting at San Francisco General Hospital with a gunshot wound in his upper chest.
Police said Moore, a San Francisco resident, was a convicted felon but gave no further details.
Parker said Moore had been carrying a large wrench and a crowbar at the time of the shooting. Police said only that Moore had been armed.
Police did not arrest Parker on Monday but said their investigation was not complete. Inspectors would not say whether they planned to recommend that the district attorney file charges against him.
The incident began at about 2 a.m. Monday when Parker was awakened by loud noises near the back of his home. At first, he didn't realize it was a burglar; he just assumed it was a rowdy neighbor.
"There are people who make noise around here even in the middle of the night . . . I thought maybe someone was unloading some lumber or something like that," Parker said. "I was laying in my bed trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. It took me a little bit before I realized the noise was coming from my back door."
As the intruder came closer to his bedroom, Parker said, he grabbed his .38 Special out from under his rug where it was wrapped in wax paper - untouched for at least two years.
"I put my finger on the trigger," Parker said. "Right as I got to the door of my bedroom, I was facing this person as he was coming in here."
The intruder was only inches away and moving toward him, Parker said.
"He was facing me up close so I unloaded that bullet right into him . . . then I slammed that (bedroom) door shut in his face and called police," Parker said. "I thought he had a friend with him. I thought the other guy was coming after me. I was real worried."
Parker was terrified and spoke to the 911 operator until police arrived, he said.
It's amazing that the gun still worked properly. Parker, a retired truck driver and shipyard worker, said he had bought the six-shot revolver in 1948 but hadn't fired it for several more years.
"I tried it out a couple times about 1952 or 1953," Parker said. "I wanted my wife to learn how to use it so we shot it a couple times each."
After moving to Hunters Point in 1962, Parker said, he fired the gun once or twice into the air to celebrate the New Year.
"I stopped firing that gun many years ago," he said. "I realized that if I shoot that gun in the air, someone could get hurt."
Parker said he might have fired the gun once in the 1970s but wasn't sure. His maintenance of the gun was sporadic. He used transmission fluid instead of gun oil as a lubricant.
Before Monday, he last checked the gun in early 1998 or late 1997.
"I never thought I would shoot that thing again," he said. "I never wanted to be a tough guy. But I guess I'm fortunate that gun still worked."


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