Mark Hayes stabbed the intruder inside the garage of his home in near State and Brayton Street around 3 a.m. Hayes, 44, told officers he was with his wife inside the home when a garage alarm sounded, police said.
Hayes went to investigate, and came face to face with an intruder. That intruder grabbed a nearby hammer and started to attack. Hayes' wife brought out a filet knife. The two struggled, and the offender was fatally stabbed.
Hayes says he feels bad for the man's family.
"Everything that happened today was a tragedy," he said. "Somebody's father or somebody's son passed. All I was trying to do was protect my house and protect myself."
"He stabbed the guy, my understanding, at least twice under the left ribcage. He must have hit something, because there's blood spattered all over ," Melvin Hayes, homeowner's father, said.
Melvin Hayes said his son thought there may have been a second intruder in the garage.
"The guy says, 'Get the gun.' So he doesn't know now, is there somebody else in there with him or just outside the door? He doesn't know."
The offender somehow got to Roseland Community Hospital, about a 10 minute drive, where he was pronounced dead, a Cook County Medical Examiner's official said. The homeowner was treated for minor injuries suffered in the struggle police said.
"You don't never wanna wish death on anyone, but we want to live peacefully on Brayton, and we expect to live peacefully," Michael Austin, neighbor, said.
"I believe what he did was justifiable. Someone's in your garage, putting your life at threat, it's yours or mine," LaMarr Fallie, neighbor, said.
An investigation is ongoing.