Burglary Suspect Shot Multiple Times by Homeowner

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A burglary suspect was shot multiple times by the homeowner, according to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Jason Newman says about 2 p.m. Friday, Joseph F. Willis forced his way into a home along County Road 19 near the Kitts Hill area of Lawrence County.

Investigators say during the burglary, the homeowner was in the house and had a gun.

He shot at Willis multiple times, hitting him in the cheek and stomach.

Willis left the house and crashed his car into a ditch about half a mile from the home.

He was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The sheriff’s department says Willis, who is from Ironton, will be charged with aggravated burglary.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner.

Neighbor Julie Webb says the Kitts Hill Neighborhood Watch program has been growing following numerous home break-ins in the area, and more and more neighbors have been arming themselves.

She hopes this homeowner’s actions send a clear message.

"I would do the same thing,” she said. “If someone would try to enter my home, I would probably take the same actions. We have to protect ourselves."

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