Houston, Texas

From Houston’s KTRK of October 26, 2007

Suspected burglar may have been living in couple’s attic

An elderly homeowner in northeast Houston is shaken up after shooting a suspected burglar. It turns out the man had actually been living in her attic and she never knew.

Police say the suspect had been living in the attic at the home near Hardy and Lorraine, getting in and out of the house through a side window.

Police say the man saw the husband leave Friday afternoon, so he thought the house was empty. He went inside, but little did he know the man’s 84-year-old wife was there. She heard the commotion and was waiting with her pistol in hand.

Police say she fired several rounds, hitting the suspect once in the neck area.

“She was in fear of her life,” said Sgt. Richard Nieto with the Houston Police Department. “A stranger was inside her home. She used the force necessary to protect her personal safety.”

The suspect ran down the alley behind the house, collapsing on the sidewalk in front of Shermann Elementary School. Police say the children were never in harm’s way and it didn’t disrupt the day.

Based on evidence found inside the attic, police think the suspect had been living there for a while. They also think he may have robbed the husband at knifepoint on Thursday.

The suspect is at Ben Taub Hospital, facing several charges. The woman who shot him is not facing charges.

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