In June, court records claim, a homeowner shot 20-year-old Christopher Rhodes in the face as Rhodes tried to break into a Tacoma area home. This morning, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the homeowner's actions were lawful and charged Rhodes with residential burglary.
"The defendant was caught in the act and lawfully shot," Lindquist was quoted in a press release. "Now, he's going to be held accountable for the burglary. This case is another reminder that breaking into people's homes can land you in the hospital or prison, if you aren't killed."
Prosecutors allege that Rhodes initially knocked on the homeowner's back door. Not expecting guests, the homeowner simply did not answer. Afterwards, the homeowner heard his window being pried open.
As the press release states:
On June 19, the victim was home alone when he heard knocking at his back door. He ignored the knocking as he was not expecting company. After the knocking stopped, the victim heard noises from the defendant prying open a window. The victim armed himself with a shotgun and called 911. The defendant smashed a bay window with an unknown object and was entering the home when the victim fired one shot, hitting the defendant in the face.
The defendant ran to a neighboring home and pounded on the window of a garage where two men were watching television. The defendant was bleeding from the face and arms, and asked the men to hide him. Moments later, the defendant collapsed. Medical aid arrived and transported the defendant to an area hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.
At the time of the alleged burglary, the defendant was in possession of a cell phone with an application that allowed him to monitor police radio broadcasts. One of the witnesses heard dispatch communications coming from the phone. An inspection of the victim's home revealed a spent shell casing on the floor near the broken bay window and holes in the curtain covering the window, consistent with a shotgun blast fired from inside the home. The victim told police that the defendant's torso was inside his house when he fired the shot.
Rhodes will be arraigned this afternoon at the County City Building in Tacoma.