PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- An investigation is underway after an intruder was shot and killed by a homeowner late Thursday night. According to police, a man was trying to break into a home near 17th Avenue and Camelback Road just before 11 p.m. The homeowner then reportedly pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest during the break-in. The suspect was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but later died.
Roger Smith lives next door and was getting ready for bed when he heard the gunfire. He’s just happy no one in the house was hurt. “He has two young kids and he has a wife and he’s protecting his family,” said Smith. “You know the guy broke the window and got in. He did what he had to do.” By Friday morning, the window was boarded up. Arizona’s Family spoke to the homeowner off-camera and he politely declined to be interviewed.
Phoenix defense attorney Dwane Cates said that Arizona law protects homeowners who shoot someone who breaks into their house. “If somebody is outside your window and you just see them peeking around out in the bushes, it may not be reasonable to shoot them,” said Cates. “But if they actually enter your house coming through a window or kick down your front door, then you’re absolutely within your rights to shoot them. It’s called the Castle Doctrine. Your home is your castle and you have the right to defend your home”
The suspect’s name hasn’t been released. It’s unclear why he was breaking into the house.