The unidentified homeowner heard noises downstairs Wednesday, asked who was there and was told it was a police officer. It was actually two trespassers, the Tacoma, Wash., News Tribune reported Thursday.
"There were two suspects and one of them is armed with a hatchet, which he promptly threw at the homeowner and missed," police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
Acting in self-defense the homeowner fired a shotgun and struck one of the suspects in the shoulder. Both suspects then fled, although the wounded suspect sought treatment at a hospital and will be arrested after he is released, police said.
The other suspect was still at large.
Speaking about a similar incident in Tacoma on June 19, in which a homeowner shot a would-be burglar attempting to crawl through a window, Mark Lindquist of the Pierce County, Wash., Prosecutor's Office pointed out residents of the State of Washington can legally use force to resist a felony being committed against themselves or someone else.