LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A Layton homeowner has been charged after firing a gun during a home burglary.
Clare B. Niederhauser, 64, was charged with two counts of reckless use of a firearm.
Layton police said on Thursday, Niederhauser pulled in his driveway to find a man, Robert Cruz, breaking into his front door with a pry bar and two other suspects in a nearby car.
Niederhauser grabbed his gun in his car and told Cruz to drop the bar. Cruz did. The two in the car started to drive away when Niederhauser fired a shot towards the car. At that time, police said Cruz ran behind the house and Niederhauser followed him into a field and fired a shot at him.
When police arrived they arrested Cruz on burglary charges, but also arrested Niederhauser. Police said Niederhauser was no longer protecting himself or his property when the shots were fired.
“By using the force that he used he certainly caused a risk of serious bodily injury or death to another person,” said Lt. Shawn Horton, Layton Police. “By firing a round at the car or firing a round in to the field and the suspect is far, far away form him.”
Niederhauser has been released from jail. ABC 4's efforts to contact him were unsuccessful. His neighbors disagree with the charges against him.
“I think we should be able to protect his home and his family,” said Mykalene Shaw. “I mean I think we should all be able to do that.”
“I don't think it's right that he was charged because he was defending his home and property,” said Debbie Thomas.
The two other suspects in the car remain at large. Police said they were driving a gray four-door Sedan.
Follow: This is going to be a big talker among gun rights advocates. We could do more on what the blogosphere is saying.