A New Hampshire man who woke up to find a burglar inside his Rochester home early Monday morning is recalling how he fired a warning shot at the intruder.
Michael Thompson told NBC10 Boston he has only used his gun for target practice, but when someone broke into his D'Amours Avenue home at about 3 a.m., he was certainly glad he had something to protect his family.
"I keep it under my mattress on the side of the bed I sleep on," he said.
Thompson said he woke up to a strange noise.
"I heard a scratching coming from our living room and I thought it was our cats," Thompson said.
When he noticed a light on at the end of the hallway, he knew it wasn't his cats.
"I grabbed my gun and went down the hallway as quietly as I could until I saw the guy," he said.
A stranger was there, standing in his living room.
"That's when I just shot and he ducked," Thompson recalled.
Thompson's girlfriend Breana Hillsgrove woke up to the commotion.
"I was freaking out," she said. "When I saw the gun hole it took me back."
The couple said the intruder took off running and they called police.
"That's the risk you take breaking into somebody’s house," Rochester Police Capt. Todd Pinkham said.
Pinkham said the intruder is lucky he wasn't killed.
"Somebody can use deadly force to protect themselves, a third person, from anyone breaking in or harming them," Pinkham explained.
He added that it does depend on the circumstances.
The homeowners say the man broke in through an open window that they now realize was an open invitation.
"I think ours might've been slightly cracked, which is why he chose that point of entry," Hillsgrove said.
They say it was a lesson learned the hard way.
"Lock your doors, make sure your windows are closed all the way," Thompson said.
The couple says they did not recognize the man and have no idea what he could've been looking for.
Police said a K9 track turned up nothing so the suspect is still on the loose.
Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Rochester Police at 603-330-7128.