A grandfather shot three men who allegedly broke into his home and tried to sexually assault his teenage granddaughter, killing one.

The man opened fire on the trio who turned up at his home in Lumberton, North Carolina, clad in balaclavas and black clothes.

Jamar Hawkins, Brandon Stephens and Jamie Lee Faison allegedly menaced the grandfather and granddaughter with a gun to force open a safe.

They then reportedly set upon the 19-year-old woman, but the grandfather seized a firearm and opened fire – hitting all three attackers.

They fled the property in a stolen gold-coloured Cadillac belonging to the victims. Faison died during the getaway. Hawkins and Stephens drove to a hospital for treatment.

The grandfather was also shot during the incident and was rushed to hospital by air ambulance. His relations took to Facebook to thank well-wishers for their support:

"He is out of surgery but is still critical in ICU. Thanks everyone for all your prayers just keep them coming. But the intruders have been caught."

Robeson County Sheriff's Office said Stephens and Hawkins were arrested in connection with the incident.