Botetourt County man kills intruder
Officials said the resident apparently had little choice but to shoot, although he seemed to show restraint.
By Sarah Bruyn Jones and Jorge Valencia
TROUTVILLE -- Armed with a double-barreled, 12-gauge shotgun, the resident of a Botetourt County home fatally shot an intruder Friday night, authorities said.
A family living in the home heard someone yelling, cursing and pounding on their house about 10:40 p.m., according to a release Saturday from Botetourt County Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle.
A man living there called 911 and secured his family members in a locked bedroom, then loaded the shotgun.
The intruder used a wrought iron patio chair to break a glass sliding door and come into the house, and the male resident shot him.
"From what I'm told, he showed some restraint," Botetourt County Commonwealth's Attorney Joel Branscom said about the shooter. "But it got to the point where he didn't have much of a choice."
The house is in a heavily wooded neighborhood at Houston Mines Road and Salt Pond Road in the Nace area of the county. The home is owned by Jody and Gina Hoover, according to county records.
The sheriff's office, however, is not identifying the resident because the incident still is being investigated.
Branscom said he believed five people were in the home at the time of the shooting, including two children.
A man who identified himself as the brother of the owner said he and the owner were replacing the door to the back porch of the house, and declined to comment any further.
Meanwhile, several neighbors said they heard sirens late Friday and were surprised when they learned of the reported altercation and shooting.
Stacy Thompson, a neighbor, said she was glad the man who lived in the house protected his family.
"When I heard someone tried to break in, I was just grateful he had a gun to protect his family," she said. "There's a reason the Second Amendment exists. We support gun rights and we would have done the same thing."
Deputies arrived as the shots were fired, Sprinkle said. The wounded man was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His identity has not been clearly established, Sprinkle said.
Branscom said he believed that two shots were fired and that the intruder was not carrying a gun.
"So far, from what I've been told, it appears to be justifiable homicide," Branscom said. "If nothing changes, that's where it is headed. When you have someone entering a home in the night and in a threatening manner, it is the kind of thing that rises to the level of justifiable."
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning. Branscom said he would review the results of the autopsy along with the 911 tape and look through the statements before making a final determination.
Sprinkle said there is no indication of any connection between the intruder and the man who shot him.