FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A teenager, suspected of trying to burglarize a vehicle in Fort Lauderdale, was shot early Tuesday morning.
It happened around 5:19 a.m. near SW 6th Street and SW 6th Avenue in the Tarpon River neighborhood.
The man who lives at the duplex confronted the teen and shot him, according to Fort Lauderdale Police.
The would-be burglar is 16 years old and may have been on a bicycle that was left at the scene, surrounded by at least nine evidence markers.
On Tuesday afternoon, Fort Lauderdale Police crime scene investigators checked a white GMC Yukon outside the duplex for fingerprints and evidence before clearing the scene.
Two witnesses said they heard several shots, with one of them saying as many as five.
“I believe there were four or five consecutive gunshots. It woke me up and sometimes you’re not sure if it was a gunshot, if you’re sleeping, but yeah, they were just fast, one after another,” said Carolyn Moreno told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “This is unfortunate that this happened. This is a very safe neighborhood. And I feel that if you are trying to protect your property and you possess a gun legally then you have to do what you have to do.”
“You hate to see anybody try to break into anything, but you know, what do you do? Do you just let them continue to burglarize you or do you stand up, fight back?” questioned Adam Ginsberg, who also heard gunshots.
When asked whether he thought the teen should have been shot, he replied, “If they’re running toward you as well, what do you do, go inside and shut the door, call the cops and let them continue to steal something?”
Ginsberg said he heard several Shots.
“I thought it might have been tied to construction nearby where they are working on a condo,” he said.
Longtime neighbor Evio Landa said, “If you are going to do a crime like this and break into a vehicle, you can expect there is going to be some reaction. This is unfortunate because this is a very nice neighborhood.”
Landa also said police have been to the same duplex before.
“A few years ago there was a home invasion there,” he said. “In that case the people were tied up and the criminals went out the back.”
It’s not known if that incident has any connection to this latest shooting.
Police have not identified the man with the gun or the youngster who was shot.
Police have not said whether the man was justified in shooting the would-be burglar.
Another neighbor said the man has a military background.
The teen is hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Moreno said she had heard that the 16-year-old youngster had an accomplice. But that has not been confirmed by police.
The duplex has surveillance cameras that are pointed to where the vehicles are parked outside it. It’s not known if those cameras captured the crime.