Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vietnam Veteran killed saving granddaughter from thieves

Vietnam Veteran and grandfather dies saving 12-year-old granddaughter from thieves
Detroit Police are still searching for suspects
By: Kim Russell
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit Police are searching for the thieves who barged into a house full of children, beat a 16-year-old with a baseball bat, then shot and killed a grandfather.

“He jumped in front of a bullet for his 12-year-old granddaughter,” said Melissa Villneff, the daughter of the man killed.

She and her brother Michael Villneff describe their father as a hero. They say 62-year-old John Villneff was a Vietnam Veteran who received two Purple Hearts. He had one son, two daughters, and 12 grandchildren.

He lived next door to his daughter’s house on Rutland on the city’s west side. His adult children were out enjoying a Tigers game. His grandchildren, who are between the ages of 10 and 16 were at home together Wednesday night when young men with guns and a bat came to their home.

Relatives say the young men attacked the 16-year-old, hitting him in the head with a baseball bat. They demanded what was inside a safe at the home. They soon learned the safe contained almost nothing of value. They then stole a Wii and an Xbox.

A 12-year-old girl at the home managed to take pictures of the suspects as they committed their crime. She then ran from the home towards her grandfather’s home next door. He came out to see what was wrong. The war veteran saw armed men coming for her, covered her, and pushed her into the safety of his home as he was shot.

He died at his home.

“I didn’t get to tell him I love him,” said Michael Villneff. “He is a hero.”
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