Defensive Gun Use Story: "Owner wounds scrapyard intruder" (Aug 9, 05)

Paul Bronfman says burglars have gotten away with breaking into his Kansas City scrapyard for months.

Monday, he did something about it. He checked his scrapyard near 14th Terrace and Norton Avenue at about 5 a.m. and stumbled upon an alleged burglar wielding a wrench.

Bronfman said he fired two warning shots and then fired twice more at the burglar, who Bronfman said was advancing toward him. The 38-year-old man suffered non-life-threatening wounds to his shoulder and buttocks, police said.

The man remained hospitalized Monday while police investigated. When they are finished, police will forward their case file to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file charges.

Bronfman said he has owned the A/3 Auto Salvage scrapyard on East 14th Terrace about two years. In the past few months, criminals have stolen catalytic converters, aluminum wheels and just about anything else of value, he said.

“I feel that I was in the right,” said Bronfman, 49. “I’ve got to stop them somehow. I’m tired of them ripping me off all the time.”

Burglars began by crawling under his front gate. So Bronfman hauled three tons of rock to fill the gap under the gate. Burglars then used bolt cutters to clip openings in his 8-foot-tall chain-link fence.

“I just paid a guy $175 three days ago to fix one hole in my fence,” Bronfman said, adding that the thefts have kept him from sleeping.

He said he left his home about 4:30 a.m. Monday to check on the property. When he saw a new hole in his fence, he crawled through. Almost immediately, he said, he saw an intruder in a semi. When he fired two warning shots, the intruder started to climb out of the cab and fell.

The man stepped toward him holding a wrench in his raised hand, Bronfman said, so he fired twice more, hitting the man. . . .

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