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Homeowner likely won't face charges for shooting intruders
September 26, 2000


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A homeowner who shot several intruders at his home last week probably will not face criminal charges, police said.

Carter Westfall, 63, shot and killed one of the men who forced their way into his home early Friday morning, and wounded at least two others.

Steven A. Trujillo, 18, of Pueblo, was found fatally wounded about two blocks from Westfall's home. The two survivors, Toby Rael, 19, and Thomas Bernal, 22, both of Pueblo, were arrested Friday after they sought treatment at St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo. They were being held on $10,00 bond for investigation of first-degree burglary and conspiracy.

Police indicated Monday that Westfall was justified in shooting under Colorado law that allows homeowners to use deadly force to defend their homes.

"We don't anticipate any arrest or charges, although that determination is made by the district attorney's office," said Lt. Skip Arms.

Westfall was questioned by police after the shootings. He told police that the men began pounding on his front door shortly before 1 a.m. When he unlocked the deadbolt, they broke a chain lock and pushed their way inside.

The men shoved Westfall to the floor, but Westfall he shot at them with a .32-caliber pistol and the men fled, police said.

Westfall told police he didn't know the intruders, or why they had targeted his house.

"That's kind of a puzzling piece," Arms said. "Somehow they knew about him and the fact that he had some guns, but we haven't been able to piece together what that link is."

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