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Home intruders bring pepper spray to a gunfight — after which armed homeowner crushes their threat, critically wounding at least one crook

A gun-toting homeowner critically wounded at least one burglar Thursday morning after the suspect and another man tried to enter a Parkland residence in western Washington state.

What are the details?

The pair tried to get into the home in the 14600 block of First Avenue South through a side window around 4 a.m., investigators with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department told KCPQ-TV.

The homeowner then confronted the suspected burglars, Sgt. Darren Moss told KCPQ.

One of the suspects deployed pepper spray, Moss added to the station, and the homeowner shot at least one of the suspects. Investigators don’t know which came first — the pepper spray or the gunfire, KCPQ said.

The wounded 38-year-old suspect was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, the station said, adding that deputies have not identified him.

The other suspect got away, KCPQ said, adding that it’s unknown whether he was injured.

Both suspects face burglary and assault charges, the station said.

What happened to the homeowner?

Moss told KCPQ investigators believe the homeowner was protecting his family.

“We don’t see enough — or enough of reason — to place the homeowner in custody,” Moss added to the station. “It seems to be that it could be self-defense.”

Investigators noted to KCPQ they believe the homeowner was randomly targeted.

‘We’re definitely moving’

Several neighbors said they heard the gunshots, the station said.

“We knew exactly what it was as soon as we heard it,” Holly Petree, who lives just a few doors away, told KCPQ. “We jumped up and opened the curtains, and there was a man laying over there.”

Image source: KCPQ-TV video screenshot

The station received video from neighbors showing one suspect on the ground as first responders treated him.

Petree — who’s been living in her home with her husband and 3-year-old for just a few months — told KCPQ, “We’re definitely moving.”

“It’s a scary neighborhood, honestly — even though … the homes are beautiful, and I love it,” she added to the station.

Anything else?

Moss told KCPQ that “residential burglaries are down 17%,” so “to have these kind of encounters, with homeowners firing shots at burglars, is not very common — but is always very scary for the homeowners.”