CHEHALIS, Wash - A man who broke into an occupied home early Sunday in Chehalis was shot by the home's owner, the Lewis County Sheriff's Office says.
Deputies arrived at the home shortly before 5 a.m. to find one man with a gunshot wound.
Deputies say a 51-year-old man broke into the home where a 24-year-old man and his wife were sleeping. The owner called 911, then armed himself with a pistol while waiting for deputies to arrive.
At one point, the suspect charged down a hallway toward the homeowner, who fired a shot, hitting the suspect. The two men then became involved in struggle until the suspect was able to break free. The homeowner held the suspect at gunpoint until deputies arrived.
A witness said he saw the suspect Sunday morning rummaging through boxes on his patio. The witness chased him away.
Bradd Reynolds, a retired cop, runs the neighborhood watch group.
"I think it proves the point that we need guns," he said. "I am always armed."
"Everybody involved in the scenario last night was part of our neighborhood watch program with the exception of the guy laying in Harborview with a bullet in him,” he said.
Reynolds set up the watch because of a house he believes has had a steady stream of bad tenants. The suspect was living there, and told police he was on meth.
A woman who answered the door Sunday had no comment.
The home is a reason why most people there say they have guns.
Neighbors were warned about the person in the shooting just hours before. The watch said, watch out.
Reynolds sent an e-mail Saturday, notifying others the suspect had moved in and to be aware. That he hadn't done anything wrong, but he has a criminal history.
"Twelve hours later, he's breaking into homes and getting himself shot,” said Reynolds. "I'm sorry a guy got shot. Nobody wants to see somebody get shot. But if you're going to break into a house on this street, it's not a good idea,” said Reynolds.
The suspect was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed in stable condition. He faces charges of burglary and assault.