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Resident shoots intruder

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An 18-year-old man who allegedly kicked in the door of an apartment in South Salt Lake early Saturday morning was shot by the resident, a concealed weapons permit holder.

"He picked the wrong house," said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.

At about 5:45 a.m., a man reportedly kicked in a door at the Mountain Shadows Apartments, 3900 S. 700 West, "shattered the frame" and awoke the residents, Keller said.

"He was dead set on getting inside that place," he said. No other units at the complex showed any sign of damage or attempted break-ins.

The man grabbed a woman inside as she was calling 911, and her live-in boyfriend grabbed his loaded handgun and shot him once in the abdomen, Keller said. The residents tried to trap the man in their living room until police could arrive.

However, the wounded man escaped the apartment by jumping through a plate-glass window and then attempted to cross 3900 South where he was almost hit by passing motorists. He collapsed nearby after a slight struggle with officers.

Keller said the resident had every legal right to defend himself and his girlfriend and "did everything by the book."

"As soon as the threat was gone, he did exactly what he was supposed to do and avoided causing harm to himself when police arrived," Keller said. "He unloaded the gun, locked the action open and didn't have the gun in his hand when he came to the door like so many people do."

The incident appeared to police to be isolated and random, as the residents said they did not know the intruder, Keller said. The woman and her boyfriend were "traumatized" but unharmed.

The Salt Lake District Attorney's Office will be screening the case, and the wounded man is in stable condition at an area hospital.


E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com