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law enforcement:

Backyard intruder shot, killed in Summerlin, Metro reports

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Jackie Valley

Metro Police said a resident fatally shot an intruder in his backyard Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The incident happened at 9:25 a.m. in the 2100 block of Spurs Court, a residential neighborhood near Hualapai Way and Sahara Avenue.

Updated Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | 2:56 p.m.

Intruder Shot in Summerlin

Police investigate the scene of a shooting where a Summerlin resident shot and killed an intruder in his backyard, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Backyard intruder killed

Gunfire erupted Tuesday morning in a normally quiet Summerlin neighborhood as a homeowner fatally shot an intruder in his backyard, Metro Police said.

Metro spokesman Bill Cassell said the male homeowner called 911 at 9:25 a.m. to report the incident in the 2100 block of Spurs Court, near Hualapai Way and Sahara Avenue.

The homeowner told detectives he fired shots at the male, who he believed was trying to break into his home through the backyard, Cassell said.

Gunfire struck the intruder in the backyard, where he died, Cassell said. Police have not determined how many shots were fired from the homeowner's handgun.

Detectives were interviewing the homeowner about the circumstances and the perceived threat, Cassell said. It's unclear whether the intruder was armed.

At this point, police believe the intruder had no right to be in the yard and did not know the homeowner, Cassell said. The homeowner, whom police did not identify, was not injured.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office will release the intruder’s identity pending notification of his family.

Homicide detectives are investigating and will forward their report to the District Attorney’s Office to decide whether to pursue charges against the homeowner, Cassell said. The homeowner has not been arrested.

Metro spokesman Jay Rivera said use of force is considered reasonable — both for citizens and police — when a person feels an action must be taken to protect his life or others’ from serious injury or death.

"We're still in the very early stages of what is obviously going to be an active investigation for a while," Cassell said.

Officers who patrol the neighborhood said there have not been noticeable crime increases in the area, he said.

The commotion caught neighbor Stacy Hawkins off guard as she arrived home from dropping her son off at school.

"It sounded like Harleys, but it was gunshots," she said. "By the time I got over there to talk to a neighbor, there was crime scene tape."

Hawkins, who lives on a street parallel to Spurs Court, said she had not heard about any burglaries in the neighborhood, which she described as having a normally safe atmosphere.

"We never have any issues," said Stacey Boreta, another neighbor. "It makes me more aware. You can't get too comfortable."

Boreta, a single mother, said the incident was eye-opening.

"It makes me want to have a gun in the house because I would do the same thing," she said. "When I have my son in the house, I'm not playing games."

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