FORT WAYNE – There was a bang at the door. Then a second bang and the door swung open.
An intruder with a handgun had barely come inside the apartment when it happened, recalled the man who lives there.
The intruder pointed the gun at him, he said, so he grabbed his own handgun and fired at least twice.
Instantly, I reached for the weapon, because I didnt know what was going on, said the man, who asked not to be identified to avoid publicity. It was so quick.
Wounded, the intruder left the apartment in northeast Fort Wayne, ran a short distance and fell to the ground, police said. He was taken to a hospital late Thursday and died shortly afterward. He was identified as Patrick M. Lee, 18, of Fort Wayne, according to the Allen County Coroners Office.
The shooter told The Journal Gazette he did not know Lee.
I didnt want it to happen, he said. I wasnt a winner in this, by no means.
Officer Jason Anthony, a police spokesman, could not say whether Lee and the shooter, who was not identified by police, knew each other. Anthony said investigators are still determining whether the home invasion was a random or targeted crime.
What exactly transpired – were still trying to gather information, said officer John Chambers, another police spokesman.
Police interviewed the shooter and others. No arrests have been made.
The shooter said he lives alone but that his buddy was at the apartment when the home invasion happened. Asked why the intruder might have chosen his door to bust open, he said he has electronics worth a couple of thousand dollars that the intruder may have wanted.
If we wouldnt have been armed, it would have been taken, he said.
Anthony said the shooting would be considered lawful if it happened the way it was reported to police.
In this incident, a subject forced entry to the home and was armed. At that point, yes, you have a right to defend your home, he said.
Indiana law permits residents to use deadly force if they believe such force is needed to keep someone from illegally entering or attacking their home.
The shooter said he did not leave his apartment after the shooting.
I actually stayed in the home the whole time, he said. I definitely did not pursue him.
The shooter said he does not have an attorney and does not believe hell need one.
I feel like if anything, the prosecution, they will be on my side, he said.
The shooting happened at 1652 Reed Road in the Black Bear Creek complex near Lake Avenue, and the wounded man was found two apartment buildings away at 5034 Madiera Drive, authorities said.
A man who lives in a neighboring building said he was in his apartment when he heard three shots from what sounded like a big gun. The neighbor, who declined to give his name for fear of retribution, said he went outside and saw a group of people around a wounded man who was lying on the patio of another apartment.
At this point, he was in and out of consciousness. They were talking to him, trying to get his name and stuff, the neighbor said, adding that he recognized the young man as someone hed seen around the apartment complex.
Police and medics, dispatched to the scene about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, found the man suffering from gunshot wounds, Chambers said. The neighbor said first responders removed the mans shirt, revealing a gaping wound on his shoulder.
Lees death was Allen Countys sixth homicide this year.