ANAHEIM, Calif. » Nathanael Blair went to the garage to move his truck early Christmas morning when he was surprised by a ski-mask-wearing burglar who threw a pipe wrench at him, hitting him in the jaw and neck.
The Orange County Register reports that around 3:30 a.m., Blair ran upstairs and grabbed his 12-gauge Winchester shotgun, chasing the burglar and firing his shotgun.
"I knew I hit him because he screamed in pain," said Blair, 36.
Still, the burglar was able to get away.
When police arrived, however, they searched the area and found the suspect, who was identified by authorities as 29-year-old Jeremy William Bell of Fullerton.
Bell was transferred to the hospital for a non-life-threatening back wound. Police said he’d be taken into custody on suspicion of robbery and other possible charges.
Authorities believe Bell tried to enter another home about a half-mile away the same night. When the police investigation is concluded, the case will be turned over to prosecutors to determine whether the shooting was in self-defense.
Despite the ordeal, and the fact that the family missed going to a relative’s home for a traditional German Christmas meal, Blair’s 3-year-old daughter slept through everything and opened Christmas presents undisturbed later that morning.
"She didn’t know anything happened," Blair said. "That made me feel really good."