By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press Writer | July 14, 2005
Two weeks ago, [William] Crutchfield [of Snellville, Georgia] walked down his driveway carrying a .380-caliber pistol and greeted his mail carrier at the curb. He then opened fire on Lazenby, drove to the police station in his Chevrolet Cavalier and told the secretary, "I just shot the letter carrier."
"He took his mail and then said, 'Hello.' And then just started shooting," Lazenby said from his hospital bed Tuesday. "He just casually got in his car and drove away."
Lazenby was shot seven times, once in the arm and six times in the abdomen. A neighbor heard shots, came outside and called 911 as the 52-year-old grandfather lay in the grass of a nearby lawn thinking he might die.
When Lazenby came out of surgery hours later, he learned that he had suffered extensive damage -- 29 holes in his colon and intestines, shattered bones in his arm. He would live, but he would never be able to digest food or produce insulin by himself.
Meanwhile, Crutchfield was telling police his startling motive. It had nothing to do with Lazenby, but instead was a way out of medical debt, he reportedly said.
"He was saying that he wanted to be cared for by the federal government, that he was in poor health and wanted to be taken care of," said Atlanta postal inspector Tracey Jefferson.
Crutchfield, a 60-year-old electrical contractor who lived alone, claimed $90,000 in medical debts for an unspecified ailment and feared losing his home, another postal inspector testified at his preliminary hearing.
"He felt that it was better to be in federal prison than out on the street," postal inspector Jessica Wagner said.
Well, looks like his problem is solved.