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Man breaks into home in middle of night. But homeowner is a Vietnam vet with a gun — and he uses it with deadly accuracy.


'He's already a hero because he's a Vietnam veteran. Now he's even a bigger hero because he saved his family.'

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

A Missouri homeowner fatally shot a man in a suspected burglary of his home near Willard in the middle of the night last week, Greene County investigators told KYTV-TV.

What are the details?

Deputies were called to a home in the 6000 block of West Hawthorn Court in the Meadows Subdivision for a burglary in progress around 4 a.m. Thursday, the station noted in a previous story.

Deputies found the suspect dead inside the residence, KYTV reported, adding that a front window was shattered.

"The suspect attacked the homeowner, and the homeowner was able to defend himself, and as a result the suspect is deceased," Deputy Jason Winston with the Greene County Sheriff's Office told the station.

"I'm a little shocked this is all going down next door," neighbor Jay Davis noted to KYTV.

Investigators did not identify the two other people who were in the house when the break-in occurred, the station said, adding that those two people weren't hurt. The homeowner, however, was taken to a hospital where he was being treated for injuries that were not life threatening, KYTV said.

"He probably saved them," Davis told the station regarding his neighbor. "He's already a hero because he's a Vietnam veteran. Now he's even a bigger hero because he saved his family."

Winston added to KYTV, "We're just glad the homeowner was able to confront this suspect and defend himself and his family against this attack."

What do we know about the suspect?

Investigators identified the deceased burglary suspect as Ryan Altman, 37, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the station said.

The sheriff's office is working to figure out why the suspect chose to break into the house, KYTV noted.

"We have no idea as to why this suspect chose the home or why he made unauthorized entry into the home," Winston told the station. "Hopefully we get to the bottom of it as our investigators continue to figure out what happened here this morning."

Winston also noted to KYTV that the residents of the home "have no idea who the suspect is; there's no connection there."

Investigators added to the station that they are also looking to see if a pickup truck found in a ditch behind the home in question is related to the incident.

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