CLAYTON, MO –(KMOX)–Clayton Police say the homeowner who fired a shot at three burglars ascending his staircase in the middle of the night was well within his rights to protect his life.
“It’s dark and he has no knowledge if they’re armed or not, but they’re in his house and he can protect himself,” said Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne.
It happened just after midnight Sunday morning on Soothmoor Drive, off Big Bend across from Fontbonne University. Police say the homeowner heard a disturbance downstairs, got his 9-millimeter handgun and went outside his bedroom to investigate.
“He went to the staircase and they were walking up to the second floor,” Byrne said, “As they were walking up he fired one shot toward the subjects and and they ran out of the house.”
Police say a patrol car responding to a 911 call from the house of a “burglary in progress with a shot fired” spotted a car leaving Soothmoor Drive and gave chase. The car, which police say had been stolen two hours earlier in the city, crashed at Big Bend and Clayton and the three suspects were caught after a brief foot chase.
Terrance Henderson, 17, of the 2600 block of Rutger in St. Louis city, suffered a superficial bullet wound on his upper right arm. He was treated and released from a local hospital. Police say Henderson was wanted for two burglaries in the city.
Jake Richardson, 18, of the 7500 block of Burwood in St. Louis city, was also arrested. The driver of the car, a juvenile, was arrested but not identified.
The two adults are charged with first-degree burglary, stealing and receiving stolen property. They’re held on $50,000 bond each at the St. Louis County jail.
Commenting on the case, Chief Byrne says it appears the three were looking for a house to burglarize and randomly chose one. They had no known connection to either the property or the homeowners.
“Committing burglaries at night when people are home is a dangerous business and certainly there are some lessons to be learned here,” Byrne said.