Sheriff: Chehalis homeowner shoots, injures meth-addled intruder

CHEHALIS, Wash. - A homeowner shot and injured an intruder who broke into his home and refused to leave early Sunday, then held the man at gunpoint until sheriff's deputies could arrive at the scene.

Local law enforcement officials later determined the intruder was apparently high on methamphetamine at the time of the break-in, and the Lewis County sheriff said the homeowner had handled the "life-or-death situation" correctly.

The drama unfolded at about 4:45 a.m. Sunday when the 24-year-old homeowner heard someone talking just outside his home, in the 400 block of Highway 603 in Chehalis, as he was sleeping with his wife.

The homeowner called 911 then armed himself with a pistol while waiting for deputies to respond, said Chief Deputy Stacy Brown of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.

As the homeowner was waiting, the intruder burst into the home and started down the hallway toward the homeowner, who was standing in front of his bedroom door to protect his wife.

The homeowner warned the intruder to stop, but the intruder charged at the homeowner instead, Brown said.

The homeowner fired one shot, hitting the intruder. But the suspect kept coming and tackled the homeowner. The two fought and then the homeowner was able to break free, holding the intruder at gunpoint until deputies arrived about 20 minutes after receiving the 911 call.

An investigation revealed that the suspect, later identified as Brian L. Creed, 51, of Chehalis, had recently moved into a nearby house off of Nix Road, Brown said. He admitted to deputies that he had used methamphetamine earlier in the day.

Creed was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, where he was later listed in critical but stable condition. He is under arrest for investigation of burglary and assault.

The homeowner was uninjured. Detectives are at the home continuing their investigation Sunday morning.

Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield said he believes the homeowner handled the dangerous situation well.

"My office works very hard in ensuring people feel safe and secure in Lewis County. However, people have to be prepared to protect themselves in situations like this in their own homes," Mansfield said.

"Our response times are as fast we can make them, but there may be a time when you are by yourself and you are forced to make a life-or-death decision to protect yourself and your family, like this man did."