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Clearwater police chief: Woman shoots intruder, her neighbor, in self-defense

The intruder, a 26-year-old man, died from his injuries.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A woman shot an intruder, who's believed to be her neighbor, in self-defense after he attacked her Tuesday morning, the Clearwater police chief said.

Officers responded just before 9 a.m. to the home in the area of Flagler Drive and Ridge Avenue, where a woman awoke to find a man in her bedroom, according to police.

While she was being attacked, the woman grabbed a gun that she had lawfully purchased and fired a single shot, Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said. The man, identified as 26-year-old Justin Wright, died at the scene.

"She was asleep in the residence, she was attacked, she does have injuries that are consistent with that attack," Slaughter said.

The chief said the attack had been ongoing even while she was on the line with 911 before she shot Wright.

Slaughter shared a few new updates about the deadly shooting during a news conference Tuesday afternoon, saying investigators still are trying to figure out a possible motive, how Wright got inside the woman's home and to what extent the two knew each other.

The woman hadn't lived at the home for long, he said. It's believed Wright did not have any weapons with him.

"At this time, there's no information for us to believe it's anything other than that (self-defense)," said Slaughter, adding that an investigation will be ongoing likely for at least the next several weeks.

Wright appeared to have some minor criminal history from out-of-state but nothing of significance compared to what happened Tuesday, Slaughter said.

"Good people don't want to have to do this kind of thing to protect themselves, so she's upset," the chief said.

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