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Homeowner shoots would-be intruder in northwest Miami-Dade

Suspect taken to hospital in critical condition

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A would-be intruder was shot by a homeowner early Tuesday while trying to force his way inside the man's northwest Miami-Dade County home, police said.

Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said the homeowner shot the man while he was forcing his way inside the home shortly before 5:30 a.m. on Northwest Second Avenue.

The 22-year-old suspect was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition.

Zabaleta said the homeowner's wife and two boys, ages 9 and 5, were inside at the time.

Neighbor Kyle Melkonian said he heard two gunshots that woke him up.

"I'm more hesitant, you know, to use force like that, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't, so, you know, I don't like to second guess somebody in a situation like that," Melkonian told Local 10 News.

The homeowner's attorney, Michael Grieco, said he is confident that the police investigation will prove that the shooting was justified.

"The family is OK. Obviously they're shaken, and obviously the children are shaken. I had the opportunity to speak with all of them," he said.

The suspect's car, which was parked outside, was towed away from the scene.

Neighbors said it isn't the first time that someone has tried to break inside the home or in other homes in the neighborhood.

Robbin Wright told Local 10 News that her stepmother was held during an overnight home invasion this summer.

"They covered her with a blanket (and) made her get on the floor while they ransacked the house," Wright said. 

Wright said she has compassion for their neighbor. 

"Protecting your loved ones, your family and your home -- there's always justification in that," she said.

The suspect's identity has not yet been released.