Gig Harbor intruder got help before he was shot

Homeowner printed a map for man, warned him not to enter house

Staff writerNovember 5, 2013 

A Gig Harbor-area homeowner who shot a man who walked into his house without permission last month first tried to help the intruder find his way to a nearby address, court records show.

Thinking the stranger was lost, the homeowner printed out a map for the man minutes before the man ignored warnings to stay out of the house and started to walk inside, the records show. That’s when the homeowner opened fire, hitting the intruder once in the back.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged the intruder – 37-year-old Brandon Bird – with a single count of residential burglary. Bird will be arraigned when he’s released from the hospital, court records show.

The homeowner won’t be charged, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Monday. The man’s wife, mother and four children were inside the house at the time of the shooting, the records show.

“Under the circumstances, the homeowner acted reasonably and lawfully to protect his wife and children who were inside the home when the intruder entered,” Lindquist said.

According to charging documents, the homeowner was working in his detached home office about 5 p.m. Oct. 24 when he saw a black Dodge Dakota pickup stop on his long driveway.

The truck turned toward a neighbor’s house before returning to the main road and then coming back down the drive to the homeowner’s house, which is on Ray Nash Drive Northwest outside Gig Harbor, the records show.

Thinking the driver was lost, the homeowner went outside to talk to the man, who investigators later identified as Bird.

Bird allegedly told the homeowner he was looking for an address and knew the house number but not the name of the street, court records show. The homeowner went back into his office to use an online mapping service “and was able to print out directions for an address on Ray Nash Drive,” the records show.

The homeowner went outside to give the map to Bird. It was then that Bird began to act strangely, asking the homeowner, “Who is in the house?” the records show.

“My family,” the homeowner responded.

Bird then asked, “Is that your family?”

“Bird’s questions concerned (the homeowner), and he was getting ready to tell the defendant to leave when Bird went around the truck and started walking toward the front door of the residence,” the records state.

The homeowner became fearful for his family’s safety and yelled at Bird not to enter the house, the records show. Bird ignored him, opened the unlocked door and crossed the threshold, the records state.

That’s when the homeowner pulled a pistol he kept in the fanny pack he was carrying and shot Bird, who was hit once in the back just to the right of his spine.

Bird allegedly told the homeowner he was sorry as they waited for medical aid and law enforcement to arrive, the records state.

Neighbors later told investigators they had seen Bird in the neighborhood earlier in the day.

“Another neighbor had called 911 earlier and reported that a man matching the defendant and his vehicle had been staring at her house at about 3:30 that afternoon,” the records show.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644

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