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Man shoots hatchet-wielding intruder

June 28, 2012 at 4:16 PM

TACOMA, Wash., June 28 (UPI) -- A Tacoma, Wash., homeowner shot a hatchet-throwing intruder during an afternoon break-in, a police report said.

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.

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