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Alleged armed robber killed by Okauchee homeowner

Keller Russell

Alleged armed robber killed by Okauchee homeowner

CREATED Aug. 28, 2011

OKAUCHEE - Police say an Okauchee homeowner shot and killed a man he claims broke into his house.

It happened around 2:00 a.m. Saturday on Wisconsin Ave.

The crime scene tape around his Okauchee home is gone but the memories of early Saturday morning are fresh and hard for Mike Fitzsimmons.

"I’m happy that I'm alive today,” Fitzsimmons told TMJ4 reporter Keller Russell.

He says he was asleep inside his home  when he heard someone breaking in. He grabbed his flashlight and a gun.

"I confronted the guy and he told me he had a gun. He came at me with a gun,” said Fitzsimmons.

The homeowner  told police he confronted the man in the garage and it moved to the back of the house. He says the man cornered him, threatening his life with a gun. Within minutes, Fitzsimmons says it was all over.

"I told him to drop it,  backed up shot him, killed him."

The Town of Oconomowoc police say the man Fitzsimmons killed is James Babe IV, 39, of Waukesha. According to state court records, Babe is a life registered sex offender with a lengthy criminal history, including burglary.

Police are still trying to figure out why Babe was in Okauchee.

"It’s not normal out here -- people breaking into houses and somebody getting shot. It’s never happened in my career here,” said Lt. Russel Paar.

Neighbors said officers roped off the house in crime scene tape and worked through the early morning hours Saturday, into the evening. Police won’t say whether they found a gun near the alleged intruder, as Fitzsimmons described.

Mike Fitzsimmons says he acted in self defense, actions he’s still coming to grips with.

"I did not want this to happen. The last thing I want to do is something like that."

Police didn’t arrest Fitzsimmons. The department plans to hand the case over to the District Attorney’s office.

Babe's fiance tells TMJ4 he was in the area for a night out with friends at the bar. He also had family that lives in Oconomowoc. She said James Babe would never break into someones house or hurt anyone. She also claims he doesn't own a gun. She acknowledges Babe had a past but said he had committed himself to staying out of trouble and that would never do anything to take himself away from her and her two children.

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