Strange twist in home robbery - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Strange twist in home robbery

Story by Megan Boatwright

Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Gunmen have forced their way into two homes this week, taking money, personal belongings and even a shot gun.

Police think the crimes may be related.

When a masked gunman approached a UTC professor at his East Brainerd home and threatened to kill him, the man said, "My son has cancer. I need to take care of him".

The suspect got away with cash and jewelry, but not before speaking some shockingly kind words.

John Keilaney only recently learned what happened to his father earlier this week and the story breaks his heart.

"I'm angry, you know, he threatened my dad. I guess he wasn't so evil that he didn't recognize certain things, I don't know," says Keilaney.

When the armed and masked man approach John's father while he was watering the yard, he ordered Ziad Keilaney inside.

"Had him basically go through certain drawers where he took jewelry," says Keilaney.

After finding some cash and jewelry the masked man got angry and demanded more. He said he would kill Keilaney. That's when the father told him his son, John, has cancer and needed him. The gunman backed down.

"He took my father downstairs to the laundry room and had him lay down on the floor," says Keilaney.

After asking Keilaney more questions about his life and work, the gunman went to leave but not before adding one more thing.

"Before he closed the door he said, ‘I hope your son feels better'," says Keilaney.

John, his family and neighborhood plan to start a neighborhood watch soon. He says anything so this doesn't happen again. Despite the ordeal, the young man says he's proud of his dad.

"He's handling it fine, amazingly. But yeah, it was definitely pretty hard for the rest of us," says Keilaney.

The family waited to tell their son about the incident until after he underwent a new round of tests this week.

They came back very positive.

John Keilaney has been battling cancer for four years and is now in remission.

Police are looking for a black man who is believed to be between the ages of 18 and 22.

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