Homeowner and intruder apparently injured
A home burglary along Sellars Mill Road ended in chaos on Wednesday when a member of Burlington’s police force fired his service weapon while the suspect and one of the home’s residents were apparently struggling over a gun.
The events which led to this entanglement, in which both the suspect and resident were reportedly injured, began in the small hours when officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress at 506 Sellars Mill Road.
According to the police department, the person who had placed the emergency call indicated that an unknown male intruder had forced his way into the home and was “acting erratically.”
Once officers arrived on the scene at 4:18 a.m., they noticed a man and a woman bolt from the dwelling, followed by a second man, who police say tackled the first male in the front yard of the home. The police department later identified the second man as the alleged intruder and the couple whom he appeared to be chasing as the home’s residents.
According to the department, the officers attempted to break up the struggle between the two men, who they noticed were grappling over a firearm.
“The officers identified themselves and gave multiple commands to the parties involved,” the department recalled in a news release later that morning. “After a failure to comply, a BPD officer discharged a service weapon.”
According to the department, both the suspect and the male resident were injured and rushed to an area hospital, where their conditions were unknown at the time of the news release. (Officials later clarified that the homeowner’s injuries were not gunshot-related.) In the meantime, the department has called in the State Bureau of Investigation to help with its review of the incident.
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WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON (6:03 PM) UPDATE ON DEADLINE FOR PRINT EDITION:
The male resident has been treated and released from the hospital for injuries consistent with an assault. The suspect is still in the hospital with multiple injuries, including non-life threatening gunshot wounds, according to police. The suspect’s name is being withheld, according to the police department, pending notification of his family.
“The investigation thus far,” the department added, “leads investigators to believe that, in addition to shots fire by law enforcement, shots were also fired, possibly multiple times, by either the residents or the suspect.”
The police department noted that, as per standard agency policy, the officers involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal inquiry.
In the meantime, officers have cordoned off a stretch of Sellars Mill Road from North Church to South Mebane Street as they continue to process evidence from the scene.