Irmo, SC (WLTX) - What would your reaction be if you caught someone breaking into your house? Police say when a suspect tried to break into a home in Irmo's Friarsgate neighborhood Tuesday morning, the homeowner didn't take it lying down.
Investigators say the noise woke him up and he grabbed his gun and fired.
"Lot of surprise, a lot of fear. They really were scared, which is understandable when you're sound asleep and you hear someone breaking into your house," explains Irmo Police Chief Brian Buck of the homeowner, "He's still coming to grips with a lot of that."
Buck says the neighborhood where the incident happened is like any other. "New Friarsgate is a large neighborhood, several thousand homes. It's a middle class neighborhood," he says, "A good cross section of people live there. You know, it's not perfect, but I don't think any neighborhood in America is."
Tuesday morning, the alarm that one homeowner on Trinity Three Road woke up to would fall into that category. "Our suspect broke into our victim's house, the homeowner's house, through the kitchen window. Homeowner was at home asleep, about 9:30 this morning, heard the banging, out of fear for his safety obtained his pistol," says Bucks, "Went downstairs, was confronted by the unknown subject in the kitchen, was coming into the kitchen. Out of fear for his life, he shot the person twice."
Police say the suspect both shots that hit the suspect were in the chest, but he then ran through the backyard and then another yard before collapsing in the street. Explains Buck, "We got a 911 call from people living in new Friarsgate that appeared to be shot in the road on North Royal Tower Drive, followed shortly after that by a 911 call from the victim, the homeowner."
The investigation is still ongoing, but right now, there are no charges against the homeowner. "In this case, the facts are showing us that this homeowner is within his rights in protecting himself," says Buck.
Right now, police still aren't sure who the suspect is. They say the man had no identification on him and is still in critical condition in the hospital tonight.