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Violent burglar shot by homeowner

Originally ran here as:
"Victim of burglary shoots suspect"
by Kathryn Buckstaff, News-Leader
Springfield News Leader
January 01, 2002

David Watson of Hollister is charged with seven felonies over a break-in in Forsyth.

FORSYTH, MISSOURI -- A Hollister man was charged Monday with seven felonies, including robbery, burglary and stealing after being shot by the victim of the burglary.

David Watson, 30, is in stable condition at a Springfield hospital. Police said, he was surprised by a woman who found him in her home off Taney County BB when she arrived there about 5 p.m. Sunday.

The suspect held the woman at gunpoint for a short time until she saw her husband driving up the driveway to the rural home in his truck, said Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell.

The woman broke away from the suspect and ran from the house to warn her husband that a robbery was in progress. At that time, the suspect ran from the home and jumped into the couple's van. The husband then grabbed a rifle in his truck and shot out one of the van's tires, Russell said. The suspect pointed his gun at the husband who then fired a shot that hit the suspect in the arm, Russell said.

Russell asked that the victims not be identified because of the possibility of retribution

After the suspect was shot, he fled in the van. The husband followed while calling the Sheriff's Department on his cell phone, Russell said. Eventually, the van overturned.

Watson was arrested without incident at the scene. Several items from the victim's home were found in the van, Russell said. He was initially taken to Skaggs Community Health Center and later transferred to Springfield.

One mystery in the case is how the suspect - who was not known by the victims - got to the home, which is surrounded by farmland and is about three-quarters of a mile from the highway. No vehicles other than those belonging to the victims were found in the vicinity, Russell said.

It was also not immediately known how the suspect entered the home.

Taney County Prosecutor Rodney Daniels said Watson has been charged with felony robbery, burglary, and two counts of stealing as well as assault and two counts of armed criminal action. Bond was set at $250,000.

Russell said the victim acted in self-defense and would not face any charges, though he said he does not advocate victims interacting with criminals in that way.

"I don't want to see people get involved unless they have to," Russell said.

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