Break-in, shots lead to Naperville school lockdown

December 11, 2012 2:49:21 PM PST
A homeowner in the western suburbs opened fire on an intruder early Tuesday morning.

The owner was alerted by his dog to the home invasion in the Steeple Run subdivision of Naperville around 6 a.m.

Rich Niemiec fired off several shots, but the burglar managed to get away. Niemiec has lived in Naperville home for over 20 years and says he has never had a problem with crime until Tuesday.

When the 13-pound silky terrier named "Bruiser" woke his up Niemiec Tuesday morning by scratching his face, the 69-year-old Naperville resident knew something was wrong. Niemiec heard someone downstairs. It turned out to be a burglar.

"When I went out to come out of the bedroom he pointed a gun at me," Niemiec said. "I had a gun too and I guess I got a lot of shots."

Niemiec says the man wearing a mask and hoodie got away the same way he apparently broke in, through the kitchen door.

Niemiec says he was on the stairs when he fired off at least eight shots with his .9mm semi-automatic handgun. Niemiec says he slipped while shooting, so he is not sure if the burglar was hit.

"If someone is running out of the lower level of your house to come up to the kitchen, how calm would you be?" said Niemiec.

Niemiec says footprints in his backyard led in the direction of a nearby school, so Steeple Run Elementary was on lockdown until 9:45 Tuesday morning while police searched for the suspect.

No one was caught, but Niemiec says, after talking with DuPage County Sheriff's Department investigators Tuesday afternoon, he is confident someone will be.

"I'm just a retired working guy," Niemiec said. "Why he picked this house, I have no idea."

Niemiec said, if the burglar wants to come back tomorrow, he promises to be a better shot.

"You think he will come back?" said Niemiec. "I want a second chance."

As part of the investigation, Niemiec says, investigators took his gun, but he says he has another one.

DuPage County Sheriff's Department has not commented specifically about the incident.


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