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Homeowner's shotgun blasts hit intruder two times — and intruder still wrestles weapon away and takes off. But possible suspect soon found at hospital.

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Photographer: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Camp County, Texas, homeowner told sheriff's deputies he heard a truck with a loud exhaust driving down a dead-end road in front of his house at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

Then the homeowner said he heard the truck's engine turn off in front of his house.

Uh oh

Shortly afterward, the homeowner told deputies he heard a noise outside and then saw a man breaking into his storage shed.

With that, the homeowner grabbed his shotgun, went outside, and confronted the man who was breaking into the shed, which contained the homeowner's tools, deputies said.

The homeowner then shot the intruder, deputies said. But then the intruder got back up — and soon the pair were struggling for the homeowner's shotgun, the sheriff's office account stated.

Then deputies said the suspect was shot again — and actually managed to still take the shotgun and flee the area.

What happened next?

Investigator Randy Huggins joined Deputy Anibal Perez at the scene, the sheriff's office said, and they found several of the homeowner's tools as well as spots of blood belonging to the suspect.

Sheriff John Cortelyou said at that point they didn't know suspect's identity.

But that didn't last long.

"We contacted all the area hospitals and law enforcement," Cortelyou added, according to his office. "We got a call later that morning from the Tyler Police Department saying there was a gunshot victim at UT Main Hospital."

So Huggins went to UT Tyler and identified the subject — 39-year-old Tony Gross, the sheriff's office said.

It isn't clear what, if any, charges are being filed or if the homeowner was injured in the incident. The Blaze's attempt Wednesday to get more information from the sheriff's office was unsuccessful.

But questions about what might happen to the homeowner in regard to charges may have been answered by the opening sentence of the sheriff's office account on Facebook, which noted that the "burglar got more than he bargained for" amid his ill-advised caper.

How did folks react?

Commenters on the sheriff's office Facebook page reacted quite positively to the conclusion of the incident:

  • "Awesome job!" one commenter exclaimed. "Homeowner way to go!!"
  • "Exactly what he deserved," another commenter said.
  • "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes," another commenter offered. "He's lucky it was a shotgun and not something with more stopping power."

Although at least one commenter suggested the homeowner brush up on his aim: "Good job homeowner! But you need to work on your shooting skills. The robber should have dropped where he stood — and just think of all the tax dollars you could have saved us!"

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