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Homeowner tried to defend property from burglar with stick. When that didn’t work, he used a gun

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THURSTON CO., Wash -- A man in Thurston County was forced to defend himself Friday when a homeless intruder broke into his home.

Police say the suspect trespassed onto the property and refused to leave after being told by the homeowner.  That's when things took a turn for the worse.

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office said when the intruder didn’t leave, he started to come through the back door and attack the homeowner.

Detectives say the homeowner did his best to fend off the burglary suspect in his kitchen, using a piece of wood.  When that wasn’t enough, he fired a single shot, hitting the intruder in the chest.  

"The homeowner knew that he did the right thing, and the only thing he could do to protect himself and his wife,” Lt. Rudloff said.

Protection is something neighbor Ernie Brown has to think about for the first time in a long time.  He says he isn't afraid despite the fact that his neighbor shot someone just steps away from his home.  Brown is frustrated about transients making their way into his cul-de-sac.

“There are signs up there telling ‘em they’re not supposed to do that," Brown said.

And that's what you might expect from a former police officer and Marine.  He says he won’t be taking mercy on anyone who breaks into his home.  

“They’re not being nice. Why should we be nice to them?" Brown said.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office won’t be taking mercy on the intruder either.  As soon as he is released from the hospital, they tell us the suspect will be charged with first-degree residential burglary.

In this case, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says because the homeowner was within his rights to protect his home, he will not be facing charges.  Police remind people, don’t approach anyone who breaks into your home -- it is always safer to call 911.

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