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Man shoots, wounds intruder

A Plant City man shot an intruder who slipped into his family's home as they unpacked from a trip, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office.

John Kilgore, 57, his wife, Cynthia, 43, and their two sons, 14 and 16, returned to their home at 286 W State Road 60 about 1 a.m. Monday after several days away, deputies say.

The home is protected by a gate and a sign for a security dog, but the family left a door unlocked as they brought in luggage, and a 23-year-old burglar walked inside, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

Cynthia Kilgore stumbled upon the burglar in the couple's bedroom and ran out screaming. She pulled her sons into another bedroom, deputies said.

As she called 911, her husband shot the burglar, firing once and hitting him in the upper torso, Carter said. Emergency crews took the intruder to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon, Carter said.

Deputies didn't release the man's name, saying they were waiting to confirm his identity. They believe he lives in Hillsborough County and may be homeless. No charges have been filed in the case, and the Kilgores did not return messages for comment.

The ability to use deadly force to protect a home stems from a common-law principle known as the "castle doctrine," which allows such force if people are attacked in their homes or cars.

Information from Times files was used in this report. Abbie VanSickle can be reached at (813) 226-3373 or vansickle@sptimes.com.

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