A retired federal law enforcement officer shot an intruder in a bizarre encounter at the former officer’s home on Mullen Lane in Lothian Thursday morning.
The intruder was badly wounded with gunshots to the leg and head. He was airlifted to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
Neighbors and property records show the homeowner is a retired FBI agent. Police have not released his name nor the name of the suspect.
Neighbors said the homeowner who was in the confrontation with the intruder had recently distributed flyers to residents warning of a suspicious stranger who had repeatedly been seen trespassing in the neighborhood. The area features stately homes on large private lots. Some residents keep horses.
One neighbor said he believed the suspect was struggling with mental health issues and had delusions that he owned property on the Lane.
Police were aware of residents’ concerns about the suspect, according to Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Mark Limanski.
Officers had spoken with the suspect repeatedly in the past several weeks and warned that he was not welcome on private property there, Limanski said.
According to the police account, Thursday’s encounter started about 8 a.m. when the intruder tried to force his way into the home and was met at the door and pushed away by the homeowner and his wife.
As the intruder pushed his way inside, the homeowner shot the intruder in the leg with a handgun. The man fled, but returned moments later with a piece of rebar, an iron rod used in reinforcing concrete. The homeowner fired a second time, hitting the suspect in the head.
The suspect fled and collapsed on a neighbor’s lawn more than 100 yards away.
Maryland law is strict on the use of guns in self-defense, but a homeowner has a clear right to shoot an intruder who attempts to enter by force, according to the 1963 case Crawford v. State of Md.