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Intruder flees West Fargo home after resident fires handgun

There was another burglary attempt in West Fargo, this time taking on a little more dangerous slant, with the homeowner firing a handgun at the intruder.

West Fargo Police responded to a call of a burglary in progress at approximately 1:30 a.m., August 18, from the Jason Fonder residence at 1139 38 ½ Ave. W. Fonder, his wife, and two-year-old daughter were home at the time.

When officers arrived, Fonder reported that he had encountered a male subject inside his home and feeling his family was in imminent danger yelled for his wife to call 911, retrieved his handgun and fired a shot in the direction of the intruder.

The suspect fled and has not yet been found. Local medical facilities were immediately notified and asked to be aware of anyone coming in suffering from a gunshot wound.

The suspect is believed to have entered through an unlocked door and nothing was taken in the incident.

The individual was described as being around 5'10" to 6 feet tall, in his late teens to early 20s, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and some sort of cap underneath the hood.

It's unknown if this incident is related to the recent string of burglary attempts occurring in West Fargo. West Fargo Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said it's similar in that the individual came in through an unlocked door, but it occurred in a different area, Eagle Run, while the others basically were reported in Charleswood and Tintes Addition.

Reitan emphasized that this recent incident was a burglary attempt and not a home invasion as some accounts have alluded to.

He said a home invasion is a crime against the person, involving an assailant coming into the house and targeting the people that are there either by overpowering them or taking them hostage and demanding property that may be at the location; while a burglary is a crime against property, which was the case in this latest attempt. "This shooting was not a home invasion, it was a burglary, just like any of the others, the only difference in this case was the homeowner confronted the suspect with a weapon and the homeowner shot at the suspect."

Evidence of the shooting was apparent by the entry area of the home, where the single bullet fired by Fonder had traveled through the wall and struck the ground near the front sidewalk. Reitan said there was no evidence indicating that the intruder was injured and at this time nobody has reported an injury to any medical staff.

He added that under the North Dakota use of force law, a homeowner has the right to protect himself and his family when they feel threatened.

Reitan reiterated that residents are encouraged to lock their doors and report anything suspicious. Anyone with any tips or information they might have about a suspect matching the description, or being in the area of the 1100 block of 38 ½ Ave. W. within the past couple of days is asked to call the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500.