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Pierce County resident shoots burglar
As man was standing outside
baby’s bedroom window

February 21, 2018

CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo shows window well where burglary suspect was shot. Photo: Pierce Co, Sheriff’s office.

LARGER IMAGE OF ABOVE. Click to enlarge
Chronicle Staff

(SPANAWAY, WA.) – The Pierce County Sheriff’s office says a burglary suspect ended up with two bullet holes in him early Monday morning after he was shot by a homeowner who found the man crouched by a window.

The sheriff’s office says the man who was shot and wounded was known to deputies in the area “and to property crime investigators, due to his extensive history of burglary, theft, and vehicle prowls,” according to a sheriff's office statement.

The timeline of events leading up to the man’s shooting begins, according to the sheriff's office, at 1:20 am Monday Feb. 19 when a homeowner called 911 to “report a prowler outside his residence” in the 1200 block of 152nd St. East in Spanaway.

The caller said he heard the sound of his riding lawn mower start up, then observed a man running away down his long gravel driveway. The homeowner discovered that the prowler had tried to enter his vehicles, removed a screen to a bathroom window, then forced entry into a shed. Once inside the shed the man removed a tarp covering a riding lawnmower and started the engine but he apparently broke the mower's gear shift and then ran away on foot.

Then at 2:18 am. deputies responded to a 911 call from a home one block down the street. At this house a woman caller reported that her husband “had just shot a burglar who had attempted to break into their house.”

When deputies arrived they find a man lying in the grass suffering from two gunshot wounds. “Deputies secured the scene and requested priority medical aid to the scene for the suspect, who the deputies immediately recognized from an arrest on New Years Eve,” said the sheriff’s office statement.

The man and woman who live at the house told deputies this: they were sleeping in the home, along with their infant and a toddler, when they heard noises of footsteps outside and saw an exterior motion light turn on.

The husband and wife look out their bedroom window but don’t see anything outside. The husband goes into the children's bedroom to check on them and sees an “unknown man standing in the window well.” The husband tells the wife to dial 911 and to move the kids to safety and, “Then he pulled back the curtain and saw the suspect was crouched down with his face within inches of the glass.”

The husband told the deputies he was in fear for his family's safety so he yelled “at the suspect to stop and then fired four shots at the suspect, striking him twice.”

The sheriff's office statement does not say if the suspect made any overt life threatening or potentially life threatening moves moves toward the homeowner to warrant use of lethal force in that situation.

Detectives and forensics responded to the scene for formal interviews of the victims and processing of evidence. Deputies also collected surveillance video from the first house where the shed had been burglarized and that video shows a male “matching the injured suspect's appearance walking along the driveway and attempting to enter vehicles before he attempted to steal the lawnmower,” said the sheriff’s office statement.

The 24 year old wounded man was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment and is expected to face charges related to the two burglaries.

The sheriff’s office says the wounded suspect was recently released from jail after serving a nearly month long sentence for vehicle prowling.



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