Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
just wanted to get your thoughts on this.
ST. PETERSBURG (Bay News 9) -- A St. Petersburg homeowner's mercy might be the only reason a burglary suspect is still alive.
Michael Lowry says he was woken up by a loud noise Monday morning.
"When I got up and turned the light on, I'm staring him down," Lowry said.
Authorities say 22-year-old Justin Masse was peering into Lowry's bedroom. They say Masse was attempting to break into Lowry's garage.
Lowry, a U.S. Navy veteran, put a round into a 12-gauge shotgun he keeps nearby then greeted the suspect with it near the garage.
"All I was saying was get off my property now," Lowry said. "I used a few choice words too, but I must have told him 3 or 4 times and he's staring down the barrel of my shotgun. And it wasn't that far from his head."
Lowry says he didn't want to shoot an unarmed burglar. But after a struggle for the weapon, Lowry hit Masse with the butt of the shotgun, leaving a gash on his forehead.
Masse fled, but came back seconds later. Lowry fired a shot toward the ground to scare him off.
The suspect then jumped the gate and ran off. But Masse didn't make it very far. A man delivering the St. Petersburg Times newspaper discovered the suspect lying in a front yard, just a couple of blocks away.
Masse was taken into custody.
Cristin Hamburg, who owns the house where Masse ended up, said she is surprised at how Lowry handled the situation. She said she might have used that shotgun differently.
"I think it's bravery on his part, that he hit him over the head and didn't shoot him," Hamburg said. "I don't know if I wouldn't have shot him."
This isn't the first time burglars have tried to break into Lowry's home, but he's hoping with a Rottweiler and a shotgun nearby that it'll be the last.