New Mexico store owner shoots, kills burglar tunneling through wall
A would-be burglar tunneling into a smoke shop was shot dead by the store's owner, who had taken to sleeping in the store to prevent break-ins, police said.
Albuquerque Police Department officers responded to a shooting call Saturday at around 4:30 a.m. and found the deceased burglar, KRQE News reported.
The owner of the store told KOB 4 News that there had been a previous break-in attempt before the store had even officially opened for business.
The owner said he was woken by a strange sound and found that the burglar had tunneled through the wall and began waving a large hammer and a chisel causing the owner to fear for his life, the outlet said.
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Police on the scene of a fatal shooting where a business owner says he fired at a burglar in self-defense. (KRQE-TV)
According to the owner, he warned the burglar to leave the premises, or he would shoot, but he claimed the burglar walked toward him swinging causing him to open fire.
The suspected burglar was declared dead when police arrived at the scene.
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Albuquerque police cruiser at scene of attempted smoke shop burglary. (KRQE-TV)
Police said they are investigating the incident as a "justifiable homicide" and the owner was released after speaking with detectives.
The store owner told KOB 4 News that he has boarded up the hole and would soon be installing cameras.
The Albuquerque Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.