Portsmouth homeowner could face charges after shooting burglar

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Portsmouth, Va. - A burglar breaks into a Portsmouth town home and is shot by a man inside of the house. The homeowner didn't want to tell NewsChannel 3 what happened.

He wasn't physically hurt in the early Sunday morning burglary.

The man also wouldn't tell NewsChannel 3 how the burglar broke in, if there were any threats made, or what condition the burglar was in before he pulled the trigger.

Investigators say Sunday at 3 a.m., a call came in for an active burglary.

The investigation is active and police won't comment on it. The homeowner who shot the burglar could face charges.

Jarrett McCormack is a defense attorney in Virginia Beach. He says what it comes down to is whether the man felt threatened by the burglar.

"You have a reasonable fear for your family or yourself," McCormack said.

The key to that is if the burglar was armed, something police aren't saying.
Virginia does not have a castle doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force in defending their home.

That proposed law has been defeated multiple times by leaders in Richmond.
In Sunday morning's case, the burglar was hurt and had to be taken to the hospital but is doing fine now.

McCormack says, especially since the burglar wasn't seriously hurt, it's unlikely any charges will go against the shooter.

"It's really rare in these cases," McCormack said. "I think commonwealth attorneys often times shy away from it because when somebody breaks into a house, they're not the most sympathetic victim."

Police are not saying when they expect the investigation to wrap up.


  • Doug Peterson

    Virginia does have an excellent Castle Doctrine, ever since 1607, which has been well-established in case law in the intervening 400+ years. What it doesn’t have is a Castle Doctrine Statute. Proposed statutes have been defeated in the General Assembly because the concern is that they may infringe on existing case law, thus diluting protections afforded the would-be victim.

  • momof2

    All I can say is that if you are in my home at 3am, uninvited, you are up to no good. I will have a reasonable fear for myself and my family. You are in my house. Whether you have a weapon or not, you are in my house so I’m afraid for myself and my family. I can’t promise that you’ll be leaving on your own two feet.

    They need to leave this homeowner alone!

  • Bronco13

    If someone comes into my occupied house in the middle of the night then they are definitely up to no good. My assumption is that you are there to harm my wife or myself, and at almost 70 yrs old, I will not stop to see what your motives are or wait for you to pull a gun. You will be subject to lethal action and I will defend my actions in court, but you will be dead.

  • Tara

    Why was he Charged he was protecting his Family i would have shot him to & asked Questions Later He didn”t come to talk do he would have Rang the Door Bell he got what he deserved Thats whats Wrong with America now Crooks have more rights Then honest People do
    You would do the same if it was you

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