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Police: Fort Wayne homeowner shoots at armed burglar

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 11:48 am

A Fort Wayne homeowner fired multiple shots at an armed burglar Friday morning, police said.

Officers responded at about 10:22 a.m. to a report of a burglary in progress, with possible shots fired, at a home in the 1600 block of Emerson Avenue, just north of Spring Street, said Fort Wayne Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Brooks.

When police arrived, they learned that a male resident had discovered a man breaking into the home and opened fire at the would-be burglar, Brooks said.

"The resident observed a male white in his house that was armed with a handgun and shot at him several times," Brooks said. "At this point, we do not believe the suspect was hit."

The burglar fled east from the scene on foot, Brooks said. The burglar was described as a man in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 165 pounds. He also had a red bandanna hanging from a belt loop, Brooks said.

Brooks said the homeowner would not likely be charged with a crime for shooting at the burglar, as Indiana law allows homeowners to use force to protect themselves and their property.

According to Indiana code, a person is justified in using deadly force if the person "reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's unlawful entry" into a home. This policy is widely known as the "castle doctrine."

Anyone with information about a suspect in this case is asked to call Fort Wayne Police.