UPDATE: Suspect Shot by Homeowner During Burglary Attempt

UPDATE 3/10/14 @ 1 p.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) --The man who was shot during what investigators say was a daytime home invasion is now listed in good condition at a Huntington hospital.

Investigators with Lawrence County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office say Joseph Willis, 36, Ironton broke into a house on CR 19 in the Kitts Hill area Friday afternoon.

According to Sheriff Jeff Lawless, the homeowner who was startled by noises, retrieved a handgun and went towards the front door where he found the intruder coming toward him.

Lawless says the homeowner then fired his weapon striking the intruder twice.

Investigators say Willis then took off in his car - but crashed in a ditch a short distance away.

He was reportedly shot in the stomach and cheek.

The homeowner was not injured

Lawless says Willis faces numerous charges including aggravated burglary.

Detectives say the two men did not know each other.

ORIGINAL STORY 3/7/14 @ 11:30 p.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – A burglary suspect was shot multiple times by the homeowner, according to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Jason Newman says about 2 p.m. Friday, Joseph F. Willis forced his way into a home along County Road 19 near the Kitts Hill area of Lawrence County.

Investigators say during the burglary, the homeowner was in the house and had a gun. He shot at Willis multiple times, hitting him in the cheek and stomach.

Willis left the house and crashed his car into a ditch about half a mile from the home. He was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The sheriff’s department says Willis, who is from Ironton, will be charged with aggravated burglary.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner.

Neighbor Julie Webb says the Kitts Hill Neighborhood Watch program has been growing following numerous home break-ins in the area, and more and more neighbors have been arming themselves.

She hopes this homeowner’s actions send a clear message.

"I would do the same thing,” she said. “If someone would try to enter my home, I would probably take the same actions. We have to protect ourselves."

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