Washington homeowner tried to defend his property with a stick. When that didn’t work, he used a gun.

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THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - A Washington man was forced to defend himself Friday when a homeless intruder broke into his home.

Police said the suspect trespassed onto the property and refused to leave after being asked by the homeowner.

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office said when the intruder didn’t leave, he started to come through the back door and attack the homeowner.

Detectives said the homeowner did his best to fend off the burglary suspect in his kitchen using a piece of wood.  When that wasn’t enough, he fired a single shot, hitting the intruder in the chest.

"The homeowner knew that he did the right thing, and the only thing he could do to protect himself and his wife,” Lieutenant Tim Rudloff said.

Neighbor Ernie Brown he isn't afraid despite the fact his neighbor shot someone just steps away from his home.  Brown is frustrated about transients making their way into his cul-de-sac.

“There are signs up there telling ‘em they’re not supposed to do that," Brown said.

Brown, a former police officer and Marine, said he won’t be taking mercy on anyone who breaks into his home.

“They’re not being nice. Why should we be nice to them?" Brown said.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office won’t be taking mercy on the intruder either.  As soon as he is released from the hospital, they said the suspect will be charged with first-degree residential burglary. They said because the homeowner was within his rights to protect his home, and he will not be facing charges.

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