Burglar nearly bumps into woman hiding in closet; DeKalb police shoot suspect

A daytime burglary attempt Tuesday came too close for a DeKalb County man’s comfort, as one of the would-be bandits got within reach of his wife before police came.

One man, now a suspect in the burglary, is under police watch while being treated for a gunshot wound. A startled officer shot the man after canine units tracked one of the burglars to a residence more than a mile away from the burglarized home. Charges are also pending against two other men.

James Norwood told Channel 2 Action News that he got a frantic phone call from his wife, Prince Norwood, about 10:30 a.m.

“She said, ‘Someone is breaking into the house, and I’m hiding in the closet,’ ” James Norwood said. “My first thought was to call 9-1-1.”

Next, he embarked upon a hurried 30-minute drive from his job in Covington to his home in southeast DeKalb.

“I couldn’t get in touch with her anymore,” he said.

DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said three men forced their way into the home on Streamside Court.

“She barricaded herself inside her room,” Parish said of Prince Norwood.

Officers responding with police dogs were able to get Prince Norwood out of the house safely. They also found two men hiding in the attic.

The third intruder got much closer to Prince Norwood, her husband said.

“He was in the closet with her when the police arrived,” James Norwood said. “He didn’t see her. … She was hiding behind the door.”

That man fled the scene, Parish said.

Police dogs tracking the burglar led officers to a yard on Leisure Wood Lane. There, a startled officer shot a man police said was hiding in a shed at the rear of the property.

“The subject very, very quickly jumped out in front of him, and the officer fired a shot hitting him in left torso and arm, inflicting a non-life-threatening wound,” DeKalb Police Chief Cedric Alexander said.

The shooting remains under investigation, police said. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Police said charges are pending against the three men, whom they have not identified.

At the end of the ordeal, James Norwood said he felt some animosity toward the burglars, but he was more relieved that his wife was safe.

“The anger came later,” he said. “Anything else can be replaced. But that’s my wife.”

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