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Burglar's bullets barely miss homeowner's head

Suspect's bullets nearly miss homeowner's head

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An early morning break-in almost cost one homeowner his life when an assailant fired at him as he tried to stop three people at his back door.

At 1:30 a.m. Friday Brian Schell and his wife heard voices at their back door. Then, someone shoved their door three times attempting to get in.  Schell ran from his bedroom to the back door.

"We have some bells on our back door and by the third loud bang, the bell shook and I knew someone had gotten into our house," said Schell.

The couple's home has been broken into three other times so they put the bells on the doors to keep them alert. When Schell got to the door, he saw three people trying to push their way through the door.

"I put my hand on the door, I saw the guy's arm raise and boom, boom, ducked twice," he said.

The burglar fired one shot at Schell. It barely missed his head. Police report the burglar fired another round as Schell retreated.

"You can see from my line of sight about where they were and where the hole was.  Yeah, it was pretty close," said Schell.

Bullet holes and a broken door now tell the story of the couple's late-night scare.  Neighbor Verna Fiedler was asleep 12 feet from Schell's back door.

"You don't really think about it in your neighborhood, pretty scary," said Fiedler.

This home invasion comes on the heels of two deadly burglaries in Colorado Springs in two months.  In January, a Fort Carson soldier and his wife were shot and killed in their home when they walked in on a burglary.  In February, a maintenance man was stabbed to death when he interrupted a burglary in an apartment.

Colorado Springs police said in those cases, the thieves were surprised by their victims and the situation turned deadly. 

"It could have been such a different, different story this morning," said Fiedler.

"If I hadn't jumped out of bed that fast they would have been in the home with guns and who knows what would have happened," said Schell.

Schell and his wife plan to buy guns this weekend and reinforce their back door.

Police offered advice to prevent people from being victims of home invasions in the future. If you think someone is in your home, they said arming yourself and getting proper firearms training can help protect you and your family. Under Colorado's Make My Day Law, you can use deadly force in your home if your life is in danger.

Police said if you arrive home and you think there's potentially been a break-in, don't hesitate to call police and don't go inside. Also, if you enter your home and then suspect there was a burglary, get out the house and call police immediately. Police reiterated, never hesitate to call police.

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