Winter Park homeowner shoots alleged burglar; one sought

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- A suspected burglar was shot by a Winter Park homeowner on Thursday afternoon, according to police.  A manhunt is now underway for another man believed to be connected to the alleged break-in at a home on Williams Drive.  A police spokesman said the homeowner returned to his house around 12:30 p.m. where he found some intruders.  

"The homeowner arrived home and discovered his house was being burglarized. He walked in, and there were people inside his home," said Sgt. Frank Cowart of the Winter Park Police Department.  Cowart said the homeowner feared for his life, so he shot one of the suspects in his driveway.  "They were trying to get away and there was a vehicle involved, and he felt like he needed to shoot." 

With one of the suspected burglars injured, the two men fled.  "The suspects were black males. They left the scene in a black four door vehicle," Sgt. Cowart explained. 

Police say the getaway car was involved in a crash and later found on Ibis Court, which is behind the home that was burglarized.  "It's extremely coincidental, the only explanation I can provide is that they just had bad luck and turned down the wrong street," Cowart added. 

Authorities said they found one man inside the car with a gunshot wound.  That man was taken into custody, but the other suspect left the scene, which prompted the lockdown of nearby Park Maitland School.  Now, police are warning residents to be on alert. 

According to police, there have been other burglaries in the area in the last three months. Neighbor Celeste Brown said, "I know that there have been several break-ins around here, and it's frightening. It's frightening that it happened in broad daylight."   Ann Hicks-Murrah told us, "I do keep an eye out and if there are people who look like they're lingering or if there's something curious I would call."

Investigators are asking that anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of the outstanding suspect to call Winter Park Police at 407-644-1313.

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