LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Police say a Lakeland homeowner shot a home intruder early Sunday morning.
Lakeland officers were called to a home on Shorewood Place around 3 a.m. and found that 19-year-old Gabriel Jacobs had been shot by 66-year-old Michael Ives.
Ives says he and his wife woke up before 3 a.m. when they heard their doorbell ring. Ives’ wife immediately called police while he tried to talk to Jacobs through the closed front door. Officers say Jacobs continued to ring the doorbell, yell profanities and kick the front door.
Ives says he warned Jacobs to stop and told him that he was armed with a shotgun. According to the incident report, Jacobs ignored Ives’ warnings and kicked open the front door. When Ives warned Jacobs again not to come closer or he would shoot, he says Jacobs continued walking toward him.
Police say Jacobs was shot once in the chest. Responding emergency medical officials say he was conscious and combative as they took him to Lakeland Regional Health.
Jacobs’ older brother Eric defended his actions in an interview with News Channel 8, saying his brother did not mean to cause any trouble.
“The car wrecked. He needed help. He was looking for help.”
Jacobs is currently in critical condition. Eric said his brother’s prognosis was bleak.
“Right now, he is still alive. He does have a heartbeat. It ain’t looking good. It ain’t looking good at all. They got him in surgery and we are all just hanging in there praying for the best. I am hoping he can pull through this and possibly get this right with his name,” said Eric Jacobs. “He is not here to tell his side and everyone is quick to forget that. They kind of brush that off but he can’t say what happened. He is not here.”
Lakeland police say a burglary to an occupied dwelling charge is pending against him.
Investigators found several traffic signs knocked over near the home, as well as an empty red Chevrolet Impala that belongs to Jacobs’ stepfather. His stepfather later confirmed to police that Jacobs was in possession of the car. Officers have also opened an accident investigation.