Skip to comments.Intruders shoot man; girlfriend fires back(OR)
Posted on 09/20/2011 5:25:46 AM PDT by marktwain
A Eugene woman said she fired several shotgun blasts at two intruders who had sneaked into her home early Friday morning and shot her boyfriend in the leg.
The 29-year-old woman said she suspects the two men who fled after she opened fire on them had planned to steal the medical marijuana plants growing on the Bethel area property. The Register-Guard does not generally identify crime victims.
Eugene police, meanwhile, declined to discuss anything beyond basic details of the incident, which unfolded about 4:30 a.m. in a residential neighborhood west of Highway 99.
Im not going to talk about what the target of the robbery was, Detective Matt Herbert said.
Police were still searching late Friday for the two men, both of whom were described somewhat generically. One of the men wore a hat that may have had the word Police on it, Herbert said.
The woman, who lives at the home with her boyfriend, said the alleged robbers walked into the residence and confronted another man who had stayed the night there. She said the intruders claimed they were police officers and tied up her visitor.
They were pretending to be the cops, the woman said.
Eugene police said the woman and her boyfriend awoke to sounds of a break-in and encountered the intruders. The boyfriend struggled with the two men in the backyard and was shot, police said.
The woman said she then grabbed a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and hit at least one of the intruders with the stock before they fled.
I was not going to let them just walk away from my home after shooting my significant other, she said. She was so angry, she said, I released the safety and started uncasing shells on them. I shot them all the way down the street.
Neighbor Elaine Briggs said she woke up after hearing a loud bang that she initially thought might have been a car back-firing. After her dogs began to bark, Briggs looked outside and saw her neighbor shooting at a man.
I saw a flashlight, a guy running, and then there were a bunch of gunshots, Briggs said.
Police said they do not know if either of the alleged robbers was injured by gunfire. Herbert declined to say whether investigators had recovered any bullet casings or buckshot from the scene.
The woman said that before the intruders fled, one of them fired shots at her. While at the home, they stole a handgun and used pepper spray on one of the couples dogs, she said.
The woman said she did not recognize the men who targeted her home and shot her boyfriend, who returned home Friday to recuperate after he was treated for his gunshot injury at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield.
Police confirmed that the medical marijuana grow was legal under Oregon law, the woman said. She added that she and her boyfriend grow for seriously ill people who have a limited time to live.
This really is one of those crimes where they were trying to steal from sick people, she said.
Robberies and other cases involving violence at properties where medical marijuana is grown are not uncommon in Oregon, where nearly 50,000 people have received a doctors recommendation to use the drug for medicinal reasons.
Last year, three men were sentenced to prison for tying up and robbing a state-registered medical marijuana grower in Oakridge. Three more men are serving prison sentences for a similar crime in Springfield last November.
In August, another Springfield medical marijuana grower shot and wounded a man whom he thought was breaking into his apartment with plans to steal his plants. Prosecutors did not charge the shooter or the intruder a friend of the grower whom authorities determined had gone to the apartment to retrieve his keys, which investigators found in the growers pickup.
Generally speaking, deadly force is legal in Oregon only when it is used against a person who is reasonably believed to be committing a felony while using or threatening to use physical force, or to defend against a residential burglary.
Herbert would not say if investigators thought the woman at the home had acted appropriately when she opened fire on Friday morning.
During her interview with The Register-Guard, the woman challenged the robbers to return to her house.
I dare you to come back, she said. If you want more, this girl is happy to give it to you.
All the more reason for police to appear in uniform, politely, and with warrant in hand if they wish to search your residence.
How else is a citizen to distinguish between police and criminals?
Nothing like making yourself a target.
Nothing like making yourself more of a target than normal.
Knew there was drugs involved. Interesting that the police are playing hush-hush with this. Wonder if the already know it might have been a couple of off duty officers.