Man in critical condition after meeting armed homeowner during botched break-in

Residents say the neighborhood was once nice, but break-ins have become a problem recently. (Photo: KY3)

Residents say the neighborhood was once nice, but break-ins have become a problem recently. (Photo: KY3)

An attempted burglary at a home in Springfield, Missouri, left the suspect in critical condition after the homeowner shot him multiple times.

Neighborhood residents told local station KY3 they heard a total of four gunshots ring out around 9:20 Friday night. Apparently the masked suspect was trying to break into the house when he was met by the armed homeowner.

Amanda Williamson, who heard the gunshots and two men fighting, said she looked outside after hearing the commotion and saw the suspect, still wearing the mask, lying on her neighbor’s yard. She said the man, who had been shot multiple times, was screaming and writhing on the ground.

“My neighbor was very gutsy,” said Linda Shultz, who also lives next door. “She went over there and pulled the mask off the man and told him don’t move or she was going to kick him or something.” Shultz called the woman brave.

When police arrived at the home a few minutes later, the suspect, whose name has not been released, was transported to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Shultz said the situation was scary, especially knowing that many of the families in the neighborhood have children, but not all of the residents were surprised by the break-in either.

In fact, Williamson said there have been a number of break-ins recently, even in her own home, which prompted the family to start barricading their doors at night. Williamson said, oddly enough, whoever broke into her house had a key to get inside, and while they were targeted again just the other day, the suspect was unable get inside the home because the door was blocked.

Authorities did not say if they believed the break-ins were related, but Williamson hopes they will come to an end now.

At this time, no charges have been filed against the homeowner, who appears to have acted in self-defense. Williamson’s husband, Gary, said he would have reacted the same way.

“I’d shoot ’em deader than a doornail,” he said. “That’s only common sense; you have to have a right to protect yourself, you know.”

And according to Mike Kelley, owner of Kelley’s Police and Tactical Supply in Springfield, there appears to be a similar sentiment among many homeowners in the area.

Kelley told KY3 the number of people coming into his shop looking for means of protecting themselves and their homes has continually increased.

“There’s just more violence,” he said. “It’s even in Springfield, Missouri.”

But Kelley also realizes that firearms aren’t for everyone, and offers alternatives such as pepper spray and Tasers. He said he talks with his customers to help them determine their best means of protection, and also added it’s important to know the law and when you legally can – and can not – use force.