Man stealing from school construction site shot by homeowner

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said a homeowner shot a man who was trying to steal from a school construction site.

Detectives said the man had drugs, weapons and warrants out for his arrest.

“It’s sad, it’s sad, it’s a scary world right now,” said Denise Bennett.

Neighbors like Bennett fear crime is getting closer.

“I was troubled by it. I have lived in this community for over 50-some years,” she said. Around 8:30 Tuesday night, a man was shot next to Artondale Elementary School in Gig Harbor.

“My little sister went to school there and it’s scary because you just don’t realize how close danger can be,” said Bennett.

Detective Ed Troyer said a man was trying to steal wood and materials from the school’s construction site, which is a spot where they’ve had problems in the past.

The man was making a lot of noise and had on loud music, which caught a neighbor’s attention. The neighbor went outside to see what was going on.

“The subject started getting mouthy with the homeowner and there was a confrontation,” said Troyer.

Officers said the man had a baton and brass knuckles, which KIRO 7 cameras captured at the scene. The homeowner had a gun and shot the man once.

“The homeowner that did the shooting feared for his life. The person was armed and, once he went down, he rendered first aid to the person he shot and called the police and he was cooperative,” said Troyer.

“I feel bad for the owner that he felt that threatened to have to defend himself but, of course, I feel he has the right to do that, as anybody does,” said Bennett.

Detectives said the man possessed drugs and had warrants out of King County. He was taken into surgery Tuesday and is expected to survive.

“All these years we’ve never had anything hit this close to home, so it’s sad,” said Bennett.

The homeowner who fired the shot wasn’t arrested. Officers will forward the case to the prosecutor, who will decide if charges will be filed.