Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Florida: Port St. Lucie homeowner shoots man through kitchen window

Port St. Lucie, Florida

From the Publication of July 30, 2008
Port St. Lucie homeowner shoots man through kitchen window

A Port St. Lucie resident shot a man trying to break into his Northeast Floresta Drive home through the kitchen window Tuesday afternoon, and the bleeding man jumped into his car and drove it into a utility pole, police said.

The injured man was later airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach, said Port St. Lucie Police spokesman Officer Robert Vega.

Police are not identifying those involved and no charges have been filed. The condition of the man who was shot wasn't available Tuesday night.

Curious neighbors crowded around the crime scene that was sectioned off with yellow police tape to see what the police cars were doing in their neighborhood. Those questioned did not witness anything and did not know the homeowner.

The shooting occurred around 2 p.m., when the resident, a family friend, the man's two young daughters and niece were in the house at 242 Northeast Floresta Drive.

When the doorbell rang, the family friend went to the front door and saw a man she didn't recognize. She alerted the resident, who was asleep in the back bedroom. After he told her he wasn't expecting anyone, he picked up his gun from his nightstand next to his bed and went to look out the front window, Vega said.

There, the resident saw the man jump his fence leading into his backyard. He said he did not know the man, Vega said.

When the resident took the three girls to a back bedroom, he said he heard the back sliding glass door shaking violently and saw the man shaking it, investigators said. When the man tried to open the kitchen window, the resident shot him, Vega said.

Police said they have no reason to believe the man knew anyone inside the house. The resident told police he called 911 when he saw the man run.

Vega said if someone enters your home, whether it's legal to shoot that person depends on the circumstances.

"I think certain situations would justify it," he said. "Whether or not this is one of those cases, we don't know."

Police on Tuesday night were still piecing together what happened

Vega said he believes the resident really thought he was being robbed, and that he will claim self-defense in the shooting.

There was an ambulance at the crime scene, which Vega said was there to check on the resident after his traumatic situation. He said the girls were pretty shaken up, but they were OK and were speaking with a victims' rights advocate.

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