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A 19-year-old man was fatally shot as he tried to burglarize a Kearns home Monday.
Kyle Stuart Poulton, most recently living in Kearns, died at the scene, said Unified Police Department Lt. Don Hutson.
The owner of the house, near 5600 South and 5100 West, saw a man trying to go through a sliding glass door about 3 a.m., Hutson said. The homeowner fired a pistol once at the man through the glass, Hutson said.
The intruder ran away. When officers arrived, they found Poulton's body next to the road, Hutson said. Poulton had one bullet wound to the chest.
"All the evidence is consistent with what [the homeowner] presented," Hutson said.
Officers on Monday evening arrested Poulson's suspected accomplice, Hutson said. The 18-year-old admitted he rang the house's doorbell with Poulson about 1½ hours before the burglary and returned with Poulson to break in, Hutson said. The man said he was trying to get in through another window when he heard the gunshot and fled.
The man did not say why he and Poulson were trying to open two separate windows or why they targeted that house, Hutson said.
Hutson said the homeowner had answered the doorbell about 1:30 a.m. but found no one there. The homeowner was investigating strange noises when he found the man at the glass door, Hutson said. The man had opened a sliding screen door and was trying to open the glass door.
Police were still investigating the shooting Monday morning. No arrests have been made. In general, Utah law permits the use of force against home intruders.
"Based on evidence and interviews with the homeowner, evidence at the scene certainly corroborated his story," Hutson said Monday afternoon. "So we believe his version of the events is accurate."
Investigators will collect information for the district attorney's office, who will determine whether to charge the homeowner.
Neighbors in the area said Monday they support thehomeowner and hope no charges are filed against him.
"I don't think anyone can say what they would do, until they are put in that position," said Anndra Modrcin, a neighbor and friend of the homeowners since they moved across the street about two years ago. "I can't even imagine being in that position."
Modrcin and the home-owner are members of a neighborhood watch. She and others described the family as good people who keep to themselves, home-school their children and don't have other relatives in the area.
Another neighbor down the street, Ron Benefiel, called the shooting "justified."
"If he was breaking in, he had the legal right to protect his kids," Benefiel said.
Poulton's family, who also lives in Kearns, was not available for comment Monday.
Hutson said Poulton had recently returned home to live with his parents in Kearns after living on his own for some time.
"The information we have is that he had been involved in some criminal behavior but nothing major, certainly not a big notorious burglar or anything," Hutson said. "His whole criminal history is pretty minor."