Burglar shoots pursuer in chest, escapes

An Augusta man was nursing a bullet wound Monday as a reminder that the good guys don't always win.

Christopher Hoops caught a man burglarizing his brother's truck and gave chase, only to be shot when the bandit turned and fired.

Hoops, 23, was treated for a chest wound at an area hospital. Contacted by telephone at his home in the 1100 block of Glenwood Drive later Monday, he said he had a headache and hung up.

Authorities were still searching for the burglar Monday night.

Asked to offer advice on the danger of trying to make a citizen's arrest, Capt. Scott Peebles straddled the fence.

"We tell people to measure their ability against the fact that this person might be armed," said Peebles. "We're not going to tell people to not get involved."

However, Peebles said, in most cases it's best to contact police first.

"You can't take anything for granted. Some of them are armed even though a lot of them are not," he said.

Typically, the younger the burglars, the more likely they're armed, Peebles said.

Twice this summer, Richmond County residents shot burglars they caught in the act.

On Aug. 15, 19-year-old Milo Frederick Hayes III was shot after a resident said he saw Hayes breaking into a truck in the 2000 block of Westfield Drive, according to an incident report.

Brete Gunby chased Hayes for nearly 100 feet, with Hayes throwing an ice scraper and calculator at Gunby in his attempt to get away.

When Hayes reached into his pocket for the third time, Gunby fired, striking him in the abdomen. Hayes spent almost a month in a hospital before he was released, and immediately arrested, on Sept. 7. Since then, he has posted bail.

Gunby was not charged, Sgt. Dan Carrier confirmed.

On Aug. 20, Judge Carlisle Overstreet shot and killed a man who broke into his Summerville home.

Despite those well-publicized cases, Peebles said he hasn't seen an increase in burglars carrying guns.