A 63-year-old man shot a burglary suspect in the leg about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday night when he returned to his home in the 6900 block of Puget Beach Road and found the intruder, according to the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.
The man had returned to his home with his wife, and armed himself with a handgun when he heard noises on the second floor of his home, Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Greg Elwin said.
When the homeowner confronted the burglar at the top of the stairs, the suspect either attempted to assault, or did assault the homeowner, Elwin said. The homeowner fired a single shot which struck the suspect in the thigh, Elwin added.
The 27-year-old burglary suspect was not armed, Elwin added. No one else was in the home at the time of the shooting besides the intruder, the homeowner and his wife, Elwin said.
The burglary suspect was trying to steal items from the homeowner's residence, and had items belonging to the homeowner on his person when he was shot, Thurston County Sheriff's Sgt. Ken Clark said. Clark said the burglary suspect had "jewelry and stuff like that."
The suspect was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital after he was shot, and Elwin said about 11 p.m. Tuesday the suspect had been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. However, the suspect's injuries are not life-threatening.
Elwin said the 63-year-old homeowner was not detained by detectives, and he is not under any sort of investigation for the shooting.
Clark said the homeowner is pretty shaken up after the shooting. The homeowner told the suspect to put his hands up, and tried to get him to give himself up before making the decision to use his firearm, he said. The homeowner only pulled the trigger after the suspect attacked him, Clark added.
"The suspect is the one that escalated the incident beyond what initially started, Clark said.
The intruder is under investigation for burglary, and also robbery, Elwin said. Elwin explained that the intruder is under investigation for robbery because of the information that he attacked the homeowner at the top of the stairs.
"When he's out of the hospital, we'll put him in jail," Elwin said.
Clark said the suspect has had numerous contacts with law enforcement in the past, but he did not have specifics on his arrest record.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org