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Winter Garden man describes intruder in 911 call: 'I shot him'

Man, woman still sought by police

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – A homeowner shot an intruder Friday morning in Winter Garden, but the assailant and a woman got away, police said.

The shooting was reported at 9:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Bainbridge Loop.

Officers with the Winter Garden Police Department said a man inside his house noticed a Honda sedan pull into his driveway. A woman approached the home, rang the doorbell and knocked on the door, police said.

The man did not answer, so the woman got into the car, and the driver left, police said.

About two minutes later, the car returned, and the same woman started aggressively knocking on the door of the home, police said. The homeowner then heard a noise in the back of his house, and a man wearing all black, including a black ski mask, entered after smashing through a glass patio door with a brick, police said.

The homeowner said he shot the man, who then drove off with the woman in the brown Honda, according to police.

Police said the homeowner was terrified and trying to defend himself. He was home alone, and couldn’t see out the door because his Christmas decorations were in the way.

"He had a masked person at the back door beating on the glass, and then you have someone beating at the front door,” said Lt. Scott Allen, of Winter Garden police. “He had no idea what was going on. He was in fear for his life and thought that was his best option."

The 911 tape helps to explain what happened.

“I have an attempted robber,” the homeowner is heard telling police dispatchers. “I’m pretty sure I shot one of them.”

“Is there anyone inside the house now?” the dispatcher asked.

“I shot him as he was trying to break through the glass screen door,” the man said.

The homeowner shot the man at close range. And that’s when a strange car outside sped off.

"The burglars probably thought no one was home, so that's kind of scary," neighbor Nathan Thatcher said.

Another neighbor said she doesn’t open her door for strangers.

"I'm gonna make sure I see you in my window,” Shelby Steele said. “And we don't have a peephole, so we're gonna make sure we get something like that in."

The man was screaming when the homeowner shot him, the homeowner told 911 officials.

“When they originally showed up, they were ringing the doorbell like crazy,” the homeowner told dispatch. “I don't know these people. I wasn't going to answer the door. I did not see who it was.”

No other details, including a detailed description of the culprits, have been released. Anyone with information is asked to call Winter Garden police.