LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -- Leavenworth County will not file charges against a 74-year-old woman who shot and killed a man as he broke into her home.

The district attorney says it’s clear the shooting was self defense.

The 74-year-old woman is recovering from a heart attack she suffered right after Saturday night’s ordeal. 

The family of the suspect says drugs are to blame.

"She was protecting herself, and I’m not mad at her at all. I would have done the same thing. I think anybody would," said Elvis Byrd who wasn’t surprised to hear what happened to his big brother, Ralph Byrd Jr. on Saturday night. "I’ve been saying for quite a while now that Ralph was either going to get himself shot stealing from somebody or he was going to OD on heroin."

Elvis Byrd says his brother struggled with addiction for years, nd nothing his family did to try and help worked.

"The heroine and meth is just outrageous in this town. I don’t know why. I wish I could put a stop to it," Elvis Byrd said.

Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens agrees that opioids and meth are a huge reason behind crime in the town, especially the some 300 burglaries in so far this year.

"We continue to work hard to attack the dealers, but I think if we had an opportunity to make some progress it would be on substance abuse and helping people with addictions," Kitchens said.

"Something needs to be done about the drug problem in Leavenworth," said Elvis Byrd who is a recovering addict himself.

He drives to Kansas City to get treatment. It is something he knows many addicts in Leavenworth don’t have the resources to do.

The woman who shot Ralph Byrd Jr. had just bought the .22 caliber handgun she used that night following another burglary attempt the week before.

This is the first time in over a decade that a homeowner has shot and killed an intruder in Leavenworth in self defense.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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