When Bryan Hood received the urgent telephone call Monday morning, he immediately assumed his father had suffered another heart attack. But he was told that 50-year-old Samuel Hood had been shot with his own rifle after encountering an intruder at his north Tampa home.
Hillsborough sheriff's officials said that Hood found an intruder inside his brick ranch house, at 3112 Kenyon Ave., when he arrived home around 9:30 a.m. During a struggle over the rifle, a shot was fired, going through Hood's left calf and hitting his big toe, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
The intruder fled, and Hood was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was in stable condition Monday evening.
Bryan Hood, 21, who lives at the house, said his father retired from Waste Management of Tampa because of a chronic heart condition. He said his father has had two heart attacks, but has kept working as a volunteer at Centurion Hospital of Carrollwood.
Early Monday, Samuel Hood was working at the hospital, but he was not feeling well and decided to go home, said his son, who was attending class at Tampa Technical Institute at the time. As Hood prepared to lie down to rest, he heard noises in the kitchen and went to investigate, Bryan Hood said.
He found a man standing in his living room, Carter said. The two men engaged in a struggle over Hood's semiautomatic rifle, and during the fight the gun went off, Carter said. The intruder fled through the back door.
Carter said she did not know if Hood was carrying the gun when he encountered the intruder. She also said she did not know who fired the shot or whether the intruder took anything. There were no signs of forced entry, she said.
Bryan Hood said his father's house had been robbed May 20, between 4 and 6 a.m. Jewelry and silverware had been stolen, and some silverware pieces had been scattered on the back lawn. Carter said sheriff's deputies have not determined whether the two events were related.
Kim Fowler, 19, Bryan Hood's girlfriend, said she picked him up from school and took him to the house after he was told of the shooting. Fowler works at Seminole Presbyterian School, where Jeanette Hood, wife of Samuel Hood, is principal of the elementary grades.
Mrs. Hood had been called away from an awards ceremony in the school sanctuary, Fowler said.
Sheriff's officials described the suspect as a male, blond, 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 9, 150 to 160 pounds, and wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.