Hickory police: Person fatally shot after reported break-in

abethea@charlotteobserver.comlruebens@charlotteobserver.comFebruary 24, 2013 

A homeowner in Hickory fatally shot a person he said had broken into his home Saturday morning, police said.

Officers were called to a home in the 1700 block of 14th Street NE around 8:50 a.m. Saturday. When police arrived at the scene, they said, they found the homeowner and the alleged intruder, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The homeowner was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained during incident. He was later released from the hospital, police said.

Hickory police have not released the name of either the homeowner or the alleged suspect. They also have not said whether the homeowner might face charges in the shooting. Authorities are continuing to investigate the case.

North Carolina’s “castle doctrine” law, which was passed in 2011, expands the rights of residents to use deadly force to protect themselves if they fear for their lives.

The “castle doctrine” provides protection from criminal and civil penalties for those who use guns to defend themselves in their homes, cars and businesses.

Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray has previously told the Observer that the law covers anyone “who uses deadly force to legitimately protect themselves from harm or death.” But if evidence shows excessive force was used, he said, prosecutors could indict the shooter for murder.

In a case last April, Charlotte detectives and prosecutors deemed that an east Charlotte man who fatally shot a man trying to kick in his back door acted in self-defense. The man who fired the shot, whom the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department did not name, was not charged.

Bethea: 704-358-6013

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