Clearwater homeowner shoots intruder, police say

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An armed homeowner, fearing for his safety, shot an alleged intruder Thursday morning in his Clearwater home, police say.

It happened at a home on the corner of Highland Avenue and Cleveland Street. Police say no charges are planned against the homeowner.

Just before 10 a.m., Clearwater police say the suspect came into the home, but he found the homeowner was there too, ready and armed with a gun.

"The homeowner contacted 911 and advised he had shot an intruder in his home," said Deputy Chief Eric Gandy. "Units responded here, secured the residence and found the intruder shot within the residence."

The alleged intruder was taken to Bayfront St. Pete for surgery. He was last listed in critical condition.

Police haven't identified the suspect but said he is a 31-year-old Clearwater man with a lengthy criminal history.

Police say the homeowner is cooperating with the investigation and went to police headquarters to be interviewed.

Neighbors were disappointed to hear of the crime happening so close, but thankful the homeowner is okay.

"That's a good thing. That's excellent," said neighbor Grazyna Janpaworn.

"The guy shot him so obviously he was scared for his life," said another neighbor, Mike Krall.

Krall just happened to be getting smart home security installed a few hours after the incident.

"I don't want to have to be put in that situation. I'd rather have the security. Maybe it'll be a deterrent," Krall said.

While police haven't said why the home was targeted or if the two men knew one another, it's enough to make neighbors extra cautious, at home or out walking.

"For something like that to happen at 9:30 in the morning on Thursday, like it's not the weekend, it's scary," Krall said. "You've gotta be able to pay attention to your surroundings, even in your own neighborhood."

"Just not a safe area is what I think," said Janpaworn, "but, nowhere is safe. You just never know."