Neighbors: Shooting should serve as a message

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Neighbors of a man who shot a teen burglar are defending his actions ---saying, they're fed up with crime on their street and he did what he had to.

Police were called to the home in the 400 block of 38th Street around 10:00 Monday morning.

The teen is recovering at University Hospital after being shot by the homeowner in the upper arm, police say he should be OK.

As for the homeowner? He's still a little shaken up after the events.

"A lot of them are just young punks," said next door neighbor Christopher McElroy, "A lot of young kids just have too much time on their hands."

It's the consensus from neighbors we talked to on south 38th Street. "If he's brave enough to break in, he's brave enough to do something else to you," said neighbor Lerenza Jones.

They believe the teen who was shot while police say he was trying to break into a back bedroom window, got what was coming to him.

"That will send a message to people to let them know hey, you just can't run and do wrong and just break into peoples homes who worked so hard because they will protect it at all costs," McElroy told WAVE 3 News.

Detectives say the homeowner---who told us he was too shaken up to speak about what happened on camera---heard a loud noise in the back of his house and grabbed his firearm.

Detective Derrick Leachman with the 2nd Division, "The homeowner pointed the gun at the intruder and told the intruder to stop". Leachman told reporters, "The intruder continues to advance into the window and the homeowner fired one shot."

"He is a nice guy and I know he didn't want to hurt nobody," Jones said. "You've got to think twice when you try to break into someone's house, you got to protect yourself and your asking for it."

" I know he definitely was trying to break into that house because the window was all out," McElroy said. McElroy who lives next door with his brother and sister-in-law, heard the ruckus on the side of the house. He says the homeowner held the gun on the wounded juvenile as a witness called police. "It took them about 10 minutes to bring him out into the yard and when they did, the kid just collapsed."

McElroy says the teen was bleeding from his upper arm and his clothes were torn off so emergency workers could get to the wound.

Neighbor Bruce Tinsley said he was surprised it all happened in broad daylight, "They don't care and I guess they're living better in jail than they are on the street."

Residents say there have been several burglaries in recent months, the next door neighbor says his brother just installed a security system.

"That's the crazy thing because they literally just finished up (installing it) this past Saturday," he told us. "It's probably why he didn't break into our house because it very well could have been ours."

Police say at the very least, the teen who was shot will face second degree burglary charges and there may be more coming.

The homeowner is not likely to face charges because the evidence put the teen inside his house.

Neighbors hope it serves as a message to other burglars.

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