In October 2008, just days before he was scheduled to leave his suburban Maryland home to accompany his most famous student, Brandon Vera, to a UFC event in England, jiu-jitsu and MMA instructor Lloyd Irvin found himself in a fight of his own. But this one was for his life.
In the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 4, Irvin woke up on his couch at 4:30 am to find two gunmen standing over him. Taking bold action when the opportunity arose, Irvin disarmed one of the perpetrators, forcing them both to flee. No one was hurt in the attempted home invasion, but now the case has taken a chilling twist.
According to Washington D.C. news outlets including WUSA-9, police now believe that one of the men involved in Irvin's home invasion attempt is a suspected serial killer.
The news station's website says the Prince George County, Maryland police are holding a "person of interest" that police chief Robert Hylton calls a serial killer.
The suspect, whose name has not yet been released publicly, is being held on federal gun charges pending indictment in at least one murder case, according to WUSA.
"This person is going to be responsible for additional murders," Hylton told the news outlet, who also reported that murder indictments could come next week.
According to various reports, at least five deaths are being investigated in conjunction with the person of interest, who seemed to target mothers and daughters who lived together.
His targeting of Irvin's family may have proved to be his undoing. Irvin is a highly decorated martial artist, with black belts in jiu-jitsu, judo and combat sambo. He's also spent considerable time instructing police and military teams on the use of martial arts in real-life situations, including defensive gun and knife techniques. Apparently, Irvin's methods have practical application, as he reportedly removed the gun clip from one home invader's weapon before removing the gun from his hands.
Vera happened to be staying at Irvin's house at the time, though no one was hurt. Charges in Irvin's home invasion case have been "nolle prossed," effectively dropped, likely as prosecutors focus on building a murder case against the suspect.
Irvin has also trained other MMA notables, including rising UFC light-heavyweight star Phil Davis.
"My heart goes out to the families that were actually killed, and I'm just so thankful that-- I mean it could have been us. Thank God Lloyd had the skills to disarm this person," said Irvin's wife, Vicki.
Ironically, at the time of the initial reporting of the story, skepticism arose from some who believed it improbable. Now, it seems, Irvin's feat was even more impressive and important than originally believed.
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