The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 12, 2012

Police: Elderly woman defends self in burglary

A 70-year-old Fayette County homeowner fired a gun at a burglar who entered her home and punched her face early Thursday morning.

Police do not think any bullets hit the burglar, who fled on foot and remains at large, but say the woman could have been killed or seriously injured if she had been unarmed.

Just before 2 a.m. Thursday in the Dothan area, the female homeowner was awakened by her home burglar alarm system, which also notified the Fayette County 911 center to dispatch police. She armed herself with a .38 revolver and went to check her home when she encountered the alleged burglar who punched her in the face, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said.

Because the home was dark, the victim could not provide a description of the person who entered her home.

Investigators determined the suspect cut open a screen in the back door of the home and broke a window in the rear door to gain entrance. Police think the breaking of the glass triggered the burglar alarm. No blood was found at the scene, which has led authorities to believe a bullet did not hit the suspect.

The victim, whose name is currently not being released, suffered a minor injury to her head from being hit, but she declined medical treatment.

“If the victim of the burglary had been unarmed she could have been seriously injured or killed when confronted by this burglar,” Kessler said.

The incident remains under investigation by Corporal S.R. Morris and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 304-255-7867 or the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department at 304-574-4216. Tips may also be submitted at http:// fayettesheriffwv.net under the crime tips section.

— E-mail: chiggins@register-herald.com

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