Parkland homeowner shoots, critically injures burglary suspect

Pierce County deputies are investigating after a homeowner in Parkland shot and injured one of two burglary suspects Thursday morning. 

The incident happened in the 14600 block of First Avenue South about a half mile away from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department Parkland-Spanaway Precinct.

Investigators say around 4 a.m., two men tried to get into a home through a side window.

Sgt. Darren Moss with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department told FOX 13 News that the homeowner confronted the suspected burglars. One of the suspects used pepper spray, and the homeowner shot, at least, one of the suspects. Investigators do not know which event happened first.

Several neighbors said they heard the gunshots.

"We knew exactly what it was as soon as we heard it. We jumped up and opened the curtains and there was a man laying over there," said Holly Petree, who lives just a few doors down from the incident, with her husband and 3-year-old.

FOX 13 News got video from neighbors that shows one of the suspects on the ground as first responders, arriving on scene, treated him.

Investigators say that man who was shot is 38 years old. He was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.

The other suspect got away, and it's unknown if he was injured, Moss said. Both suspects face burglary and assault charges.

Moss tells FOX 13 News that investigators believe the homeowner was protecting his family.

"We don't see enough, or enough of reason to place the homeowner in custody, it seems to be that it could be self-defense," said Moss.

Deputies have not identified the suspect. Investigators also say they believe the homeowner was randomly targeted. 

"Residential burglaries are down 17%, like I said. So to have these kind of encounters, with homeowners firing shots at burglars, is not very common but is always very scary for the homeowners," said Moss.

Investigators ask anyone with information, or surveillance video to contact deputies or call Crime Stoppers.