Spanaway, WA – A father shot and wounded an attempted burglary suspect on Monday morning, after he caught the man outside of his children’s bedroom window.
The unnamed homeowner said that he and his wife were asleep at 2:18 a.m. on Feb. 19, when they heard footsteps and noises outside their residence, KIRO reported.
After an exterior motion light was triggered, the father went into the bedroom where his infant and toddler were asleep, and told his wife to move the children to safety and to call 911, KOMO reported.
"My wife and I are still kind of in shock," he told KIRO, "I opened a curtain and there was a threat immediately in my face."
He said the suspect was crouched down, and that his face was just inches away from the glass.
He hollered at the prowler to stop, then fired four rounds at him, the father told KIRO.
“That’s just the primal instinct as a man to try to protect my family and my wife,” he said. “I’m willing to put my life out there to make sure my wife and my sons are protected from that threat."
The unnamed 24-year-old suspect was hit by two of the homeowner’s bullets, and was lying in the grass when Pierce County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) deputies arrived.
They immediately recognized him from a New Year’s Eve arrest, and said that he had recently served a month-long jail sentence for breaking into vehicles, KOMO reported.
In a Facebook press release, the PCSO said that the incident was just one of the reports they received in relation to the suspect that night, and that he was also “believed to have committed another burglary 1 hour earlier at a neighbor’s house.”
That homeowner was awakened when someone started up his riding lawnmower out in his yard, police said. The homeowner called 911 as the suspect fled the area.
“The homeowner discovered that the suspect had tried to enter his vehicles, removed a screen to a bathroom window, and then forced entry to a shed,” the PCSO press release said. “Once inside the shed, the suspect removed a tarp covering a riding lawnmower and started the engine; the suspect apparently broke the mower's gear shift then fled on foot.”
Investigators obtained surveillance footage from the homeowner, and noted that the suspect in the video matched the appearance of the suspect who was shot in the subsequent attempted burglary.
The PCSO said that the suspect, who was “well known” to the department, was transported for medical treatment.
He faced charges in both incidents, police said.
The father who shot the prowler told KIRO that incidents like what his family experienced were the reason that having a firearm can be a lifesaving tool.
“It's OK to have a weapon in your home and protect yourself and your family," he said. "If I know that I can sway someone's thoughts to help them protect their family better and they live, then my job here is successful."
Do you think that lethal force is justified if a prowler is outside of your children's window? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.