Man returning home shoots suspected burglar in face, Winter Park police say
Park Maitland School placed on lockdown
WINTER PARK, Fla. – A man arriving home Thursday afternoon in Winter Park shot a suspected burglar, who fled with at least one other person, according to police
The manhunt is over for the night, but one suspect remains on the run, with another in the hospital.
The homeowner, in his 70s, remains shaken after pulling the trigger on burglars in his own driveway.
"Of course, he's as you would imagine someone would be after being through something like this," said Winter Park Police Department Sgt. Frank Cowart.
Police said as the two burglars walked to the front of the house, the homeowner arrived at home and surprised them. He pulled his gun and fired a single shot at the men on his property, hitting one.
"He had a gunshot wound to his face," Cowart said of the injured suspect. "He was transported to the hospital. He is alive."
It's unclear if the suspects had a weapon, but police said the homeowner feared for his life, and shot as the suspects tried get away in their car.
"They were trying to get away and there was a vehicle involved, and so he felt like he needed to shoot," Cowart said. "The reason for shooting is he felt his life was in danger."
"I'm assuming he had some justification for using his weapon," said neighbor Dave Klein. "Of course, you'd have to have your life essentially threatened. Just because somebody's on your property, you can't start blasting away."
It's put people in the area on edge. They've seen an uptick in crime in a normally quiet neighborhood.
"I know that there have been several break-ins around here and it's frightening that its happening in broad daylight," neighbor Celeste Brown said.
Winter Park police have called in the joint Homicide Investigation team to determine if the shooting was justified.
Police said they have no reason to detain the homeowner, but the big concern among neighbors is that second suspect remains on the loose.
Park Maitland School, which is near the scene, was placed on lockdown, but students were later spotted outside the school.
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