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Police: Miami Homeowner Shoots Man Trying To Break In

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami homeowner confronted a man trying to break into his home Tuesday morning.

Around 6:30 a.m., an alarm went off inside the home located near N. Miami Ave. and 42nd Street, prompting the homeowner and his girlfriend to wake up.

"Apparently, the alarm went off once. They thought it was routine. It went off again and they got up to investigate what was going on in the home," said Yelitza Cedano with City of Miami Police.

From there, he grabbed his gun and went to see what was going on. Moments later, investigators said he found a man trying to open one of the windows with bolt cutters.

The homeowner confronted the man trying to break in and, at some point, shot him in the abdomen.

"He was caught off guard by the homeowner coming outside the house. The homeowner saw him trying to break into the house and shot the offender," said Cedano.

Crews rushed the man to Ryder Trauma Center where he underwent surgery. He is expected to be okay.

Authorities say the man found trying to break in is 47-year-old Dennis Harris.  They say Harris is a criminal who has been arrested before for burglary but he did not have a weapon, just the bolt cutters.

One neighbor told CBS4's Marybel Rodriguez that same man has broken into homes in the area multiple times.

"Four times in mine, four times in another and his home, two times," said neighbor Isabella Nunez.

Residents who live in the upscale neighborhood near Midtown say it's concerning.

Jeff Jerrigan is just one of several residents who woke up to Miami Police outside their doors.

"Anytime people break into a home and yo go you away you think 'is my house safe or what?'" asked Jerrigan.

Records show that Harris' prior arrests are for loitering, trespassing, theft and burglary.

"It's very scary to know that there are people entering homes and robbing when you feel secure and safe in your house," said neighbor Nathalie Perdomo.

"Do you think the neighbor did the right thing," Rodriguez asked a neighbor.

"Yes, what else is he going to do say 'hey man don't break into my house,' no you break into my house, it is scary and this is your response," said neighbor Rachael Straub.

"I believe he has the right to protect his property and his life," added Jerrigan.

Police say it appears charges are not likely against the homeowner and that Harris will be arrested.

This is the third case of a homeowner shooting a burglar in South Florida in the past month.


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