Suspect in intrusion dies of wound

Friday, December 28, 2007 | 5:50 p.m. CST; updated 8:43 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — One of the intruders in an apparent home invasion in Columbia died Friday afternoon after he was shot by one of the occupants of the home.

Henry Lee Brown, 23, was shot as he and another intruder kicked open the front door of an apartment on Old 63 early Thursday morning, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department. He was pronounced dead at 1:43 p.m.

Columbia police Sgt. Ken Hammond said Brown suffered a gunshot wound to the chin, which exited, then came back through his throat and became lodged in his chest. Hammond did not explain whether the bullet had ricocheted.

At just past midnight Thursday, police responded to a call of shots fired at the apartment. Two people inside told police that two men had tried to kick open the door. One of the occupants retrieved a gun from another room, shot at the intruders as they came through the door and wounded Brown.

Brown and the other unidentified man then ran from the apartment. As police talked with the two people at the scene, they were notified that Brown had been dropped off at Boone Hospital Center’s emergency room. He was later transferred to University Hospital because his injuries were so severe.

Hammond said he doubts that charges will be filed against the person who shot Brown. He said the shooting would seem to fall under the Castle Doctrine, a legal statute that says Missouri property owners are allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves against unlawful intruders.

Brown did have a criminal history that included convictions for drug crimes and for misdemeanor assault and trespassing.

Hammond confirmed that police have been in contact with the two people from the apartment but said he could not comment on their reaction to the news of Brown’s death because the investigation is ongoing.

The case remains open. Anyone with information can contact CrimeStoppers at 875-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and can be eligible for a reward of up to $1,500.

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