Local News

Homeowner shot while fleeing Fayetteville home invasion

Posted September 28, 2010 12:30 p.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2010 6:51 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville homeowner was shot early Tuesday while running for help after three men broke into his house, police said.

Christopher Mitchell and Latoya Paige were asleep in their home on Shads Ford Boulevard in the Valley Forge Estates neighborhood off Morganton Road at about 1:40 a.m. when the home invasion occurred, said Dan Grubb, spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department.

"They thought they heard a noise, and before they knew it, there were three suspects in the home with weapons," Grubb said.

Mitchell, 32, tried to run next door for help, and one of the intruders fired some shots at him, hitting him once in the hip, Grubb said. He was being treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, but his condition was unknown Tuesday afternoon.

The next-door neighbor, who is a Cumberland County deputy, called 911 after a wounded Mitchell banged on his door asking for help.

"I'm not opening the door for this person. It could be anybody," the deputy told a 911 dispatcher, noting that he didn't know his neighbors well.

Another neighbor, Jeff Tew, said he heard a couple of loud pops early in the morning and recognized it as gunfire.

"I jumped up and I tried to look out the window, but I didn't see anything," Tew said.

A third neighbor also called 911 and reported that the intruders drove off in a white sedan.

Police canvassed the neighborhood but were unable to locate the intruders. The men had their faces partially covered, so police don't have a good description of them, Grubb said.

Paige was unharmed in the incident.

The intruders took cash from the home, but it wasn't immediately known if anything else was taken, Grubb said.

Investigators haven't said whether the intruders knew the victims.

Tew said Mitchell and Paige have lived in the neighborhood for about three months.

"They've not been a problem. They don't cause any disturbance or anything," he said. "Actually, I don't see much of them at all, to be honest with you."