Burglar Shot By Homeowner In Beckley

From today’s Beckley Register-Herald:

A Fayette County burglary suspect was shot by a homeowner who police said was burglarized by the same suspect at least one other time.

Nighttime burglary charges are pending against Tracey Ann McQueen, 25, of Kaymoor Road, Fayetteville, Sheriff Bill Laird said. McQueen was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center Wednesday morning for treatment of a single gunshot wound to her left hand. She was under evaluation at the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

At 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, the Fayette County 911 Center was notified of a burglary in progress at a Pleasant View Road residence, near Fayetteville, Laird said. Later, the alleged burglar was reported to have been shot in the hand by the homeowner. When deputies arrived at the scene, the homeowner said the female suspect fled.

A short time later, deputies identified the suspect as McQueen, Laird said. McQueen was located at a Kaymoor Road residence and taken to Plateau Medical Center. She was later transferred to CAMC.

The preliminary investigation indicates the female victim was awakened to find McQueen inside the residence, Laird said. The victim confronted McQueen, attempting to hold her at gunpoint while awaiting deputies’ arrival. A struggle ensued, during which McQueen was apparently shot by the victim’s .22 caliber revolver.

Laird said McQueen had been charged with burglarizing the same residence Nov. 4, and she was free on bond when the latest incident occurred. McQueen was also considered a primary suspect in at least one other previous incident at the same residence. Reports indicate the victim’s house had been burglarized on several other occasions during the past few months.

McQueen is believed to have, in the past, lived near the victim’s residence, Laird said. Laird was unsure if McQueen and the victim actually knew each other.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner, Laird said.

Investigations into this incident and all other previous crimes at the residence are ongoing, Laird said. Deputies T.N. Mooney and W.K. Willis and sheriff’s detective bureau are investigating.

Note: The headline used by the Register-Herald was “Sheriff: Burglary suspect shot by homeowner.” I believed this to be a little ridiculous, so I changed it to “Burglar Shot by Homeowner in Beckley.” Sometimes the press can get a little carried away with the words “alleged” and “suspect.” Even a criminal defense attorney can say here with absolute certainty that this person was a “burglar,” not a “suspect.” Also, why is it necessary to indicate in the headline that it came from the Sheriff? The point is, that the media sees the real criminal as any homeowner with the audacity to protect themselves with guns – as we have a right to do in this country (well, in West Virginia anyways; according to Mayor Bloomberg and other fanatical big-city mayors, you lose that right when you cross rust-belt city limits) This point of view is apparent towards the end of the article, where the author, as if she was surprised, notes that “No charges have been filed against the homeowner….” Let’s hope the author of this article never runs for prosecuting attorney. – John H. Bryan, Attorney at Law.

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