A Tacoma man who shot a burglar in the face with a shotgun Tuesday night likely wont be punished, Tacoma police and Pierce County prosecutors said Wednesday.
Weve found nothing at this point that he would be arrested for, said police spokesman Mark Fulghum, adding the investigation was ongoing.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist hadnt received the police reports on the incident, but he noted Washingtonians can legally use force including fatal force to resist a felony against themselves or someone else.
Generally speaking, he said, we are not going to charge a homeowner for defending himself or herself against a burglar. Heres the lesson for potential burglars: When you break into someones house, you take the chance youre going to get shot.
Police said the shooting occurred about 6 p.m. at South 14th and South Madison streets, as a burglar tried to enter the home through a window. The wounded suspect, 19, remained at St. Joseph Medical Center, Fulghum said. No charges will be filed until the investigation is completed, he said.
The 20-year-old homeowner and his family declined to be interviewed and police have not released his name.
Brendon Brown, 29, lives across the street from where the homeowner lives with his mother. He said the burglar stumbled to his house after the shooting, where police took him into custody.
It was just kind of like a weird nightmare, Brown said.
He said he was about to grab his own household gun upon seeing the wounded burglar, thinking a shooter might be on the loose.
You never know, Brown said. I believe that everyone should have a gun every family, every household for protection.
Brown said he cut grass for the homeowners mother as a teenager, and once gave her a ride to work. She recently bought a car from his family.
I always see him walking his dog, Brown said. Theyre a good family. Theyre quiet.
It was an eventful night for the generally peaceful street, neighbor Eddie Burghagen said.
It doesnt happen here, he said.
Another neighbor was concerned for the homeowner.
I hope the young man is OK, neighbor Linda Lauritzen said. He didnt ask for that to happen. Even if youre protecting yourself, you have to deal with the fact that you shot someone. That would have to have an effect, I would think.