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Milford Man Shoots Naked Home Invasion Suspect [UPDATED]

The 67-year-old homeowner reportedly tried to fight off the suspect twice before shooting him in the chest.

Updated on July 23rd at 5:34 p.m.:

On Saturday evening, Gerald Mirto, of 66 Point Lookout, heard noises from the rear yard. He looked out a second story window and saw a man's head near the slider door.

Mirto went downstairs and saw that the screen window was broken and a suspect was standing outside.

The suspect was not wearing any clothing and Mirto yelled at the suspect to leave.

The suspect bit the homeowner on the arm several times and punched him on the right side of his head.

Mirto pushed the suspect out of the house, went upstairs, retrieved his gun, called 9-1-1, and saw that the suspect had entered his home.

The suspect rushed Mirto. Mirto fired one shot, striking the suspect in the chest.

A search was conducted for the suspect, Benjamin Prue, age 25 of 312 Scardiffe Court, Rolesville, North Carolina. 

Prue was allegedly found knee-deep in the water of the Long Island Sound.

Prue is still in critical condition at Yale New Haven Hospital. Charges are forthcoming.

Original Story:

A man who allegedly engaged in a home invasion in Milford Saturday night is in critical condition after the homeowner shot him in the chest.

The suspect, who police identified as Benjamin Prue, 25, of an unknown address, is listed in critical condition at Yale New Haven Hospital.

The 67-year-old Point Lookout homeowner was alerted to the intruder by a noise outside his home Saturday night, police said. Upon finding a screen to the home forced open, the homeowner was reportedly confronted by the intruder. After a struggle, the homeowner retreated to the second floor and grabbed his handgun, according to the police report, which was just released.

The homeowner returned to the first floor of his residence to find the intruder attempting to steal his television, police said. The homeowner pleaded with the man to leave, b ut the suspect reportedly engaged in a second physical altercation with the homeowner. That is when the homeowner shot the intruder in the chest, police said.

Milford Police responded to the home invasion complaint shortly after 10 p.m. and apprehended the alleged intruder in the water a short distance from the Point Lookout home.

During their investigation, police located a 2000 grey Volvo owned by Prue a short distance from the Point Lookout home. Police found evidence of crack cocaine and paraphernalia used to ingest it inside the vehicle, and the trunk was reportedly open.

The investigation remains open. Anyone with information about this incident or who may have seen the vehicle in the area is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Chacon the Milford Police Detective Division at 203-877-1465.

Larissa Watt July 23, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Good for him--glad the homeowner is safe..Hopefully this sends a message to thieves to stay away from people's homes--get a job!
JP July 23, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Scary that the dirtbags are getting brazen enough to go to the nice neighborhoods to break into houses. But glad to see a gun used the way it should be, to protect a homeowner from a criminal breaking in. And that's all you need, a handgun. I think people should be allowed to have guns for protection and to hunt in rural areas. What I don't understand is why any private citizen needs a semi-automatic assault rifle that fires 50-60 rounds per minute, like the nut in Colorodo was able to get. The states should enact bans against those weapons, and they should investigate people who purchase multi weapons and stockpile huge amounts of ammunition.
arkay July 23, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Good for him.
DJS July 23, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Good for the homeowner for protecting his/her property and family; the dirt bag thieve got what he deserves, just to bad the he's still living....................
Vera Clark July 23, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Good for the homeowner! I agree that the use of his handgun to protect his own home is appropriate. Otherwise, I do think we need to come down hard on the gun industry so tragedies like the shooting in Colorado do not continue. Who really needs an assault rifle except the police or someone in the armed forces? It serves this loser right for being so brazen! VC
Robert Jochim July 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. WE are the first responders.
cannrn July 23, 2012 at 11:50 PM
exactly!
Mark Laser July 24, 2012 at 03:12 AM
All the people posting here seem to agree that it is good that a citizen can lawfully use deadly force to protect themselves in their own home. But many miss the point about gun rights when they ask why does someone "need" to own an AK 47. Certainly no one "needs" to own such a firearm, yet there are many law abiding people who simply enjoy going to a range and firing these arms. By analogy, absolutely no one needs to own a Porsche capable of doing 200 mph. Yet many people enjoy the lawful use of these cars. Would you deny someone the ability to own a Porshe? I point out that a thousand fold more people die each year in this county due to cars traveling at excessive speed than are killed by AK 47s.
Christina Durham July 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Excellent point, Mark. I might add to your position that the Founders of our country intended the vox populi to possess the same weapons used by our military. This served two purposes: to enable the armed population to support their country's military, if required, during invasion by an opposing force, and to protect the population from a tyrannical government (keep in mind that we had barely escaped a tyrannical government twice at the time of the drafting of the Bill of Rights).
RONALD M GOLDWYN July 24, 2012 at 03:44 PM
This homeowner and my fellow posters appear not to know the gun laws regarding the possession and discharge of firearms. Citizens do NOT have the absolute right to use deadly force in defending their castle. Dearly force may only be used as a last resource and only if your life is threatened. We are allowed to keep firearms in our homes if they are registered with the police, but we don't have to be licensed. A license is required for carrying a hidden firearm. This homeowner may still face legal problems which may grow if the criminal dies. PS I do own guns.
MikeS July 24, 2012 at 04:26 PM
@Christina Whether or not the intention of the founding fathers was for private citizens to be equivalently equipped as military personnel, this mode of thinking is an anachronism. Think about it for a second. As powerful and lethal as an assault rifle is, it is a puny, insignificant toy when compared to the modern firepower at the military's disposal, should they avail themselves of such weapons in confronting US citizens. What good would an assault rifle be against a helicopter gunship, or a predator drone? This is to say nothing against unconventional weapons, biological, chemical, etc. So whether or not the forefathers wished for citizens to be adequately armed to deter military fanaticism, it is a moot point. Modern weaponry and technology have created a gulf that is virtually impossible to bridge between the military and private citizens. This is a prime example for why, as sacrosanct and ingenious as the Bill of Rights were, we need to keep an open mind about the historical/cultural context within which they were framed, and understand that there is nothing wrong about allowing our laws to evolve as our society changes over time.
Joe Loschiavo July 24, 2012 at 05:16 PM
After the way this country has been run for the past 15 or so years, plus my study of history in school combined with recent world events, I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with the banning semi auto long guns. I mean, what is an "assault rifle" anyway? It's pretty much a politically concocted term. An AR15 rifle fires the same type, and in many cases, smaller bullets than most hunting rifles. Remember... the VA Tech sicko used handguns with only 10 rd magazines. One of them may have been 15 but you get the point.... they will find a way. They are sick and how we can stop them I don't know for sure.
Joe Loschiavo July 24, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Indeed Ron is correct that in this wonderful state, you may be in a heap of trouble if you defend yourself, EVEN IN YOUR OWN HOME! We do NOT have true castle doctrine in CT. As the old saying goes... "better to be judged by twelve than carried by six."
Joe Loschiavo July 24, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I agree Mark that it is surely a slippery slope and I don't trust some government legislator or bureaucrat to tell me what I can and cannot have. There is far too much of that already. We need to also keep the perspective that we are a country over over 300,000,000 people. That's a lot of folks. Things are going to happen on occasion and I haven't seen too much that shows me that anti-gun legislation does a whole lot.
Christina Durham July 24, 2012 at 05:33 PM
@Mike Good points all, however, my viewpoint isn't entirely anachronistic. I think you're referring to the militia argument many 2nd Amendment opponents make, which has been argued at great length in the courts and largely rejected by Constitutional scholars. I don't see the Bill of Rights being altered any time soon in regards to the 2nd Amendment. Although I wouldn't necessarily support such action, perhaps the best approach would be to examine limiting the sale of ammunition. I can make my own ammunition for my shotgun, which I use for sporting clays, but I would think that most people would not be interested in the labor, equipment and material required for shells/bullets and other ammunition that requires precision machining. Millions of guns, rifles and shotguns are in the hands of our citizenry already and those firearms will last 100-300 years or more if properly cared for. I don't see our government seizing all 300 million of them (at least that's the figure I found on the no. of guns in the US). I would like a safe country just like the rest of us, and I'm for preventing the sale of any firearm to an irresponsible and/or mentally ill person, but the solution is much greater than what has become the old canard of somehow "altering the Bill of Rights". Just how, exactly, should the Bill of Rights be altered? I never hear viable solutions, but I'd love to hear some.
David Chesler July 24, 2012 at 06:14 PM
If it's an assault rifle and it is shooting that many rounds per minute, it's not semi-automatic, that's full automatic (a so-called "machine gun" though that's really a crew-fired weapon.) If you want to ban things the fire with the same mechanics as that used by the murderer in Aurora, you should understand that you're calling for a ban on a whole bunch of firearms. Some of them look all ugly with military styling and bayonet lugs, but they fire one bullet for each pull of the trigger same as any other semi-automatic.
Mark Laser July 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Ron did not read my post carefully enough. I do know CT law regarding this point. As Joe correctly points out, there is no "castle doctrine" in CT. But I said "use deadly force to protect themselves", not their property. Despite this, my understanding is (but I'm not certain on this point), that no one in CT has ever been prosecutted for using deadly force in a home invasion situation. My guess is that a prosecuter would understand that, since the Cheshire case, juries would be very sympathetic to a homeowner and would likely accept the premise that a physical threat exists any time someone is in your home, uninvited at night. I'd like to know if anyone know of a case that refutes my belief. I am very new to gun ownership, and had always been softly anti-gun. I was motivated by the Cheshire case. Now, I find great satisfaction in a new hobby. Sporting clays are tremendous fun. If more citizens became familiar with guns there would be less irrational fear of them.
David Chesler July 24, 2012 at 09:10 PM
See http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/rpt/2012-R-0172.htm The Castle Doctrine is incorporated into Connecticut law governing the use of physical force in defense of premises. This law states that a person who possesses or controls a premises, or is licensed or privileged to be on such premises, is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person when he or she reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent or stop someone from criminally trespassing. Deadly force is reasonable only (1) to defend oneself or another; (2) when one reasonably believes deadly force is necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson or any violent crime; or (3) to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary and only to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry by force into his or her dwelling or place of work (CGS § 53a-20).
C.S. July 24, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Finally the good guy wins.
Starla July 24, 2012 at 11:32 PM
The intruder confronted him, bit him, attacked him, tried to subdue him. I can only speak for myself, but that sounds like a life threatening situation to me. I can't imagine any jury convicting this homeowner of any trumped up criminal charge. It would be a huge waste of time and taxpayer funds.
Starla July 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Home invasions have almost become commonplace today. I am so glad my dad taught us all how to use a firearm.
Robert Jochim July 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Just a correction, Ron: the Connecticut "State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers" ("license" as you say), is for lawfully carrying a pistol or handgun, concealed or not. Nowhere does it say that the firearm must be concealed, so technically, "open carry" is also allowed. Obviously, the protected right to open carry needs to be exercised judiciously and responsibly. If you create a "public disturbance" by lawfully open carrying, you can be in for a real hassle. If anyone would like to join other folks who enjoy all forms of legally carrying, there is an upcoming Family Picnic, free and open to the public (no alcohol allowed), coming up on Sunday, August 19th in Stratford, hosted by the Connecticut Citizen's Defense League (CCDL). All firearms must remained holstered at all times during the event. Facebook details here: http://on.fb.me/NJn3Zu
Dave Gualtieri July 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Dave Gualtieri If you go to CT.gov and type in Castle Doctrine, you can see exactly what CT's position on this law is. Here's the way I see it. The intruder was 25 years old, The home owner was 67. He was told to leave the property and refused and attacted the owner, bitting him and punching him, He was shoved out the door and re-entered the property. The owner, was obviously in fear for his life. He retreated and got his handgun. The intruder attacked him once again. Can a 67 year old man defeat a 25 year on man in a violent altercation? I fear not. Also, while the man retrived his handgun he called 911. The intruder then asaulted the homeowner again, and during the altercation was shot. Have we learned nothing from the Petitt home invation that ended in the brutal killing of Dr Pettis wife and daughter? Should we all become victims? As a Master Firearms Instructor for over 30 years, I believe that the Milford homeowner did the right thing, and I would have done it exactly the same way. I do not believe in vigilantism but this was clearly a case of someone fighting for his life. This story could have ended a lot differently if this man was not armed...

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