Intruder shot in Pennsylvania break-in attempt was a homeowner, the relative, police say

Don Lutz successfully fought off a home invasion in Ellwood City, Pa., at home, on the killing of a burglar.

(Thanks to KDKA)

The burglar shot and killed by an elderly Pennsylvania homeowner during a burglary attempt last week turned out to be the husband of a cousin-in-law.

Dennis Mercadante, 49, and another man broke into the house around 1:20 p.m. on Friday, Ellwood City police said.

Mercadante was shot after a fight in the hall with the home owner, Don Lutz, researchers said. The other man took off.

“I’m a hard supporter of weapons – not gun control. We must never stop law-abiding people have guns,” Lutz told the Ellwood City Ledger. “I wear it all the time, but I probably would have to bear.”


Mercadante was identified through facial recognition and fingerprints, and he turned out to be a cousin-in-law of Lutz, police Lt. David Kingston told the newspaper.

He said that it was unlikely that any charges will be filed against Lutz, the pain in his right arm in the battle.

“I am never afraid in my life,” Lutz, a Korean War vet, told WTAE. “God has always been with me, and I’m a firm believer in God and Jesus Christ, and God was with me tonight.”

The police are still investigating and have not identified the second intruder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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