The Clearwater Police Department reported the woman called 911 around 8:49 a.m. to report the break-in. She was in the middle of a struggle with the intruder, identified as 26-year-old Justin William Wright, during the call with the dispatcher. Investigators would later find injuries on the woman consistent with a struggle.
As the encounter ensued, the woman grabbed her gun and shot the intruder once. He died moments later.
Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said there was no reason to believe this was anything other than an act of self-defense in a subsequent press conference. Slaughter also confirmed the gun was purchased legally.
“Good people don’t want to have to do this kind of thing to protect themselves,” Slaughter said of the woman. “She’s upset.”
Wright was this woman’s next-door neighbor, but police did not know as of this report whether they previously knew each other. Police are also unsure how the intruder entered the home. She was home alone at the time.