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Two teens — 15 and 16 — force their way into home, physically attack resident. But victim is armed with handgun and shoots intruders dead.

Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The resident of a Connecticut home fatally shot a pair of male teenagers — 15 and 16 — who forced their way into the East Hartford residence last week and physically attacked the resident, police told WTIC-TV.

What are the details?

Police said the unnamed teens were shot in the living room, the station reported. The incident took place early Thursday morning, CT Insider said. Police were called to the home just after midnight, WTIC noted.

Police added to WTIC that the teens were rushed to hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.

The resident suffered minor injuries in the attack, WTIC noted, adding that the handgun used in the shooting is registered to the resident, who is cooperating with police.

Officer Marc Caruso of the East Hartford Police Department told WTIC that "the only weapon recovered on scene" belongs to the resident.

Police are calling the incident a "targeted home invasion" but still are trying to figure out what led to it, WTIC said.

"It appears as though the homeowner had no knowledge of his attackers," Caruso added to the station. "We're looking into several possibilities. The detectives are tracking down leads at this time."

Police also were looking for one or more armed individuals who may have been involved and possibly left the scene, Lt. John DuPont told CT Insider.

No 'stand your ground' law

Kenneth Gray — a senior lecturer at the University of New Haven and a former FBI agent — told WTIC that Connecticut does not have a "stand your ground" law, which means the victim of a threat must first try to get away before using deadly force.

"You are justified in using self-defense to include a firearm if you fear for your life or the life of a third person, but it's not totally unrestricted," Gray added to the station. "By that I mean if the person is threatening you, you can use deadly force. But if you have other options — for instance, if you can run away — you have to run away."

Caruso added to WTIC that police are characterizing the shooting "as a home invasion type incident where two males came into the home. And it appears to be a case of self-defense at this time, where the homeowner was a legal owner of the firearm."

Anything else?

Hartford Public Schools released a statement regarding the teens' deaths, WTIC said:

On Thursday, June 16, 2022, we were informed of the deaths of two former Hartford Public School students. This is an unfortunate and tragic incident, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of members of our Hartford Public Schools community. We are prepared to provide proper support and resources for students and staff affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with our former students’ families, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.
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