KOMO: A suspected car thief who was in the middle of breaking into a pickup truck was shot and killed by the truck’s owner in Maple Valley early Tuesday morning, King County Sheriff’s deputies said.
The 27-year-old thief and his girlfriend were already driving a stolen Honda with stolen plates when they pulled up to a home in the 21800 block of SE 236th Place just after midnight, deputies said.
As the man then began breaking into a pickup truck, the truck’s owner came out to walk his dog and confronted the thief, according to investigators. Guns were drawn, and several shots were fired.
The thief ducked behind the truck he was trying to steal, but was still struck several times and died at the scene, deputies said.
The truck owner’s aunt hailed her nephew, who is a former Marine, as a hero for saving her life as the bullets began flying.
“He shoved me out of the way when the guy was going to shoot at us,” said Kristen Hague. “Looked like (the thief) had a gun and pushed me out of the way and yelled ‘gun!’ and I don’t think if he would have done that, I would be alive… I think he was defending me — I totally see it.”
She said her nephew was definitely justified in fatally wounding the thief. “My life was in danger; my nephew’s life was in danger, and he did the right thing even though it ended really bad and really sad,” Hague said.
She said despite the thief’s attempt to shoot them, she went to his side and did CPR until medics could arrive.
“There was a guy on the ground dying and it was instinct and…I just went in and started doing compression on his chests…until help got there,” Hague said. “It was all I could do.”
Detectives say they recovered at least two weapons from the scene — a .45 caliber apparently used by the thief and a 9 millimeter from the man who shot the suspect.
His alleged accomplice was arrested and police say she had a felony warrant for burglary.
Meanwhile, police questioned the man who shot the thief, then released him.
Hague said she’s not surprised he would come to her defense. “Even though he was a Marine, he would have done that anyway. He loves his aunt.”
Score one for the Second Amendment!