Police: Homeowner shoots at home invaders

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two young men broke into a Westside home Tuesday afternoon, only to be greeted by a homeowner who fired back at them, according to Jacksonville police.

Police said the men went into the home in the 5700 block of Gasparilla Park Court about 12:30 p.m.

The homeowner told police he was sleeping and heard wrestling in the backyard and then glass break from the back window. He grabbed a gun and fired between nine and 14 shots at the men.

"Once the suspects made entry, that's when the victim returned fire at the suspects and of course they fled the scene right afterwards," said JSO's Sgt. Michael Taylor.  

Detectives said they don't think the burglars were hit, but got away empty handed through the woods the back of the house. Police said the homeowner wasn't hurt and they don't believe the men were armed.

Often in similar cases, police put hospitals on alert for people who may come in with gunshot wounds.

The home invaders are described as two white men between 17 and 20 years old.

Channel 4 spoke with a local man Tuesday night who didn't want to be identified, but said he heard gunshots ring out in his Westside home Tuesday afternoon.

"Multiple gun shots, one after another, pretty fast," the man said.

"They kind of gambled and betted that the homeowner was not home, made forced entry and got more than they bargained for," said Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson.  

The neighbor said thieves broke in his house last month and he believe they escaped through the same woods.

"Came home, saw that my house had been broken into, back window busted out, and people came in, took some things," the neighbor said.

Neighbor Donnie Burrell said there are also a lot of car break-ins in the neighborhood. Burrell thinks it's because thieves are sneaking through the woods in his neighborhood that back up to Blanding Boulevard.

"It seems like anytime there's a lot of car dealerships those kind of things around, there's always a lot of burglaries, and especially when there's woods, where there's an alternative for people to get away," Burrell said.  

"This sort of thing could happen very fast so the person may not be able to get a lot of information but whatever info they can get is vitally important to the police, especially what direction they were driving, and direction of travel," Jefferson said.

If you have any information about the home invaders, call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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