Shots fired when homeowner confronts masked men breaking into cars in St. Cloud

Homeowner had minor injuries, police say

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – Shots were fired early Wednesday when a homeowner confronted masked men breaking into cars in St. Cloud, according to a police report.

The shooting happened around 12:42 a.m. on Softshell Street in the Turtle Creek community.

According to the report, two men saw three assailants breaking into cars in their neighborhood. One of the two men, a homeowner in the neighborhood, confronted the suspected burglars and a fight broke out, leading to one of the culprits firing two gunshots, police said.

“He wanted to not have them burglarize his vehicle,” said Andrew Sullivan, the public information manager for St. Cloud. “The altercation started, and one of the suspects drew a firearm, handgun, and fired two shots.”

No one was injured, police said.

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Two of the suspected car burglars were wearing ski masks and got into a dark-colored car driven by a third man and they left the area.

“That is scary. I think if the homeowner may not have approached these people then there wouldn’t have been any fires shot,” said Michael Cain, a resident in the neighborhood.

One of Cain’s cameras caught the moments before the suspected burglars escaped.

“You could see that they’re going in and out of the vehicles and grabbing items. There’s a couple instances where they broke the windows and they’re grabbing items and stashing them into their car,” Cain said.

A video shows the men approach his own car.

“Fortunately for us, the doors were locked and they moved on,” he said.

The homeowner who confronted the men was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said.

St. Cloud police said that this case was a crime of opportunity, warning homeowners to be cautious.

“There were eight that were documented in the report that were burglarized,” Sullivan said. “There may be more that these characters had attempted to burglarize. These are folks that were looking for easy access to vehicles. They were in a very compact neighborhood with lots of homes and lots of vehicles that were in close proximity.”

Officials said they were still searching for the suspected burglars.

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About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.