Monday, October 5, 2009

Police: NW Houston homeowner fatally shoots robbery suspect

A homeowner fatally shot a suspected intruder in northwest Houston this morning, police said.

The shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. in the 8500 block of Norton, near the intersection of Bingle and Kempwood.

Homicide Detective C. Elliott said the resident, spending his day off from work at home, returned from a grocery store errand to find things in disarray. He retrieved his shotgun and searched the home.

The resident found the intruder hiding in a closet. After a confrontation, the homeowner shot the suspect, who had a screwdriver in his possession, Elliott said. The homeowner fired three blasts of birdshot.

"It was a horrible experience, a scary experience," said Mark Brown, the homeowner. He didn't get into details about the face-off with the stranger, except to say he kept the shotgun for security but hoped he'd never have to use it.

"Thank God (the thief) didn't find it first," said Brown, who works for a local beer distributor.

Brown's neighbor across the street, 78-year-old Milton Brandt, said he wasn't aware of a burglary problem in the area but said the confrontation is a reminder that people should be ready to protect themselves.

"I would have done the same thing," Brandt said.

Elliott said the case would be referred to a grand jury without charges, as is customary in shootings that appear to be lawful. No other information was immediately available.

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