lake wales home invasion
Homeowner Shoots Burglar in Head, Arm
Michael Collins of Tampa is charged with armed burglary.
By Jeremy Maready
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 8:22 p.m.
LAKE WALES | A Lake Wales security guard shot a man breaking into his home off East Grove Avenue on Wednesday morning, according to Lake Wales police.
Michael Collins, 45, of Tampa, was shot in the head and left arm by the homeowner and flown to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. He was listed in stable condition Wednesday afternoon and expected to recover, said LWPD Capt. Troy Schulze.
Collins was charged with armed burglary and possession of burglary tools, which are both felonies, Schulze said.
The homeowner, whose name has not been released pending an investigation by the State Attorney's Office, declined to comment for this story.
The shooting happened at 10:30 a.m. at 1261 E. Grove Ave.
When Collins entered the home through a sliding glass door, he woke the homeowner, who had fallen asleep after working a night shift.
The homeowner was asleep in his bedroom with his 3-year-old daughter and infant child, Schulze said. "He woke to the sound of crashing. He (the homeowner) doesn't know if it was the blinds or the man prying the sliding glass door."
When he heard the commotion, the homeowner grabbed a .380-caliber handgun and walked out of his room.
A startled Collins swung his crowbar at the homeowner, missing him, and attempted to run out of the home
, police said.
But the homeowner began firing his gun, striking Collins in the head and the arm, officials said.
"It was pretty bloody," Schulze said. "But that's pretty typical of a head wound."
Collins ran out of the home and to his van, with the homeowner following. When Collins reached into his van, the homeowner fired again, but it wasn't clear where those shots landed
, police said.
Collins tried to drive away on an unpaved road in an orange grove, eventually overturning his car about 100 yards from the home, Schulze said.
Lake Wales police and the Polk County Sheriff's Office worked on the crime scene Wednesday morning, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was expected to take aerial photographs that afternoon, Schulze said.
Collins was flown to LRMC. Before paramedics took him away, he told police he was passing through Lake Wales and randomly decided to burglarize the home, Schulze said. "He also said he feels the man shouldn't have shot him because he was trying to leave."