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PD: Hartford car theft suspect threatened owner with gun; victim returns fire

HARTFORD -- Police said a juvenile suspect in a car theft was shot by the owner of the car the suspect was stealing.

According to police, a Hartford resident was warming up his 2001 Ford Taurus  in the driveway around 7:45 a.m. Monday morning when it was stolen. The car owner notified police.

Around 9:20 a.m. the car owner located his car at  Shultas Place and Maple Avenue and confronted the juvenile in the car. The driver pointed a gun at the car owner according to police. The car owner returned fire, hitting the suspect in the cheek and jaw with his legal firearm and the juvenile drove away in the stolen car. The owner called police to tell them he had fired his weapon.

Several minutes later, police received a 911 call about a victim with a gun shot wound at 215 South St. and a short time later,  the car was recovered on Webster and Crown Streets.

A witness who saw the car says there were two people inside the Taurus. The suspect was riding in the back.

"The other person screamed for him, he went back opened the door which they left open and then they proceeded to run through the houses through the back yards," says the witness.

One of those yards belonged to a relative of the witness. The yard was full of clues leading back to the suspect.

"There was blood on my mom's car, there was blood on the backyard, the steps, on the trees, like just a trail of blood everywhere. It was just sickening.," said the witness.

Investigators corroborated stories with the witness which helped them capture the suspect.

Police said the suspect suffered non-life threatening injuries and was being treated at Hartford Hospital.

Police said the 17-year-old juvenile suspect was from New Britain and has an outstanding arrest warrant for auto theft and a lengthy history of stealing cars in the region.

Police said the resident is cooperating with the investigation. Authorities said he was a licensed pistol permit holder. He gave a statement and was released. At this time the investigation is active and ongoing.