An Indianapolis homeowner had his house broken into twice in two days, but after an altercation this week left the suspect shot, the homeowner is hoping he learned his lesson because he said local residents are fed up with the crime.
Howard Murphy told reporters he was watching TV around 2:30 a.m. Thursday when he heard someone at the side of his house. He went to the back door, which had already been kicked in during a break-in Tuesday, to see what the commotion was.
Murphy then hid in his kitchen pantry, but when the suspect entered his kitchen, the homeowner came out and confronted him. The two then became engaged in about a five-minute physical altercation. Murphy said the threat against him escalated when the man reached for an object with what he felt was the intention to hit him with it.
“Either I was going to get hurt or he was going to get hurt,” Murphy said. “I know I didn’t want to get hurt in my own house.”
So Murphy opened fire on the intruder, striking him in the leg.
Moments later, police received a phone call from a nearby female resident who said a man was standing outside of her home, screaming that he had been shot.
When authorities arrived, they found the injured suspect, who was later identified as 39-year-old Kocho Long, about a block from where the break-in occurred. By that time, police had already received another call from Murphy explaining that he had just shot an intruder in his home.
It didn’t take authorities long to put the pieces together and conclude that the man suffering from the gunshot wound was likely responsible for the break-in.
Long was taken to a local hospital where he remains in stable condition and will face charges after he’s released.
Murphy said he wasn’t trying to kill Long or anything of the sort, he just wanted him off of him and out of his house. But Murphy also said he hopes the incident will set Long — and other criminals — on a different path.
“I hope that this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “There’s a lot of homeowners around here and, you know, they’re getting tired of their houses getting broken into.”
No charges have been filed against Murphy, who will likely be protected under the state’s Castle Doctrine law.
The incident remains under investigation and authorities are working to determine if Long was responsible for Tuesday’s break-in as well.
“If I can work for what’s mine, then people like that can work for what’s theirs,” Murphy said.