The North Side homeowner dialed 911 just after noon yesterday and gave his address. When asked what his emergency was, he replied, “Some … some guy broke into my house, and I shot him.”
He answered the dispatcher’s questions. Yes, it just happened. Yes, the man was lying motionless at his door at 1915 Faymeadow Ave. No, he didn’t appear to be breathing. No, he didn’t know him. The homeowner’s revolver was still in his hand.
“He kicked the door in,” he said.
After a minute, the dispatcher told him help was on the way, and he hung up.
Officers arrived to find the homeowner inside and the intruder dead on the porch. The door showed signs of being kicked in. The intruder was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman, said it appeared to be a case of self-defense.
“Everyone has the right to protect their house,” Weiner said. At the same time, “it’s very tragic. It’s something he’ll have to live with.”
Police identified the dead man last night as 31-year-old Michael Rinehart. They did not provide an address.
Rinehart served four years in prison after being convicted of burglary in 2010. He petitioned for judicial release in 2013, saying his drug addiction had led to his crimes, but it was denied.
Police did not name the man who shot Rinehart, but Franklin County housing records showed that the homeowner is Joseph Miklich, 71.
Neighbors said Miklich had lived alone since his wife died in 2004. He worked on computers and was a good, quiet neighbor. He’s owned the house since at least 1971, according to Franklin County auditor’s records.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that Weiner said the homeowner was legally permitted to possess the gun.
Homicide detectives will investigate and hand over their findings to the prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to file charges or hand the case to the grand jury.
This was the second time this month that a homeowner has shot and killed an intruder. On Feb. 19, a woman on N. Guilford Avenue in Franklinton shot Christopher Lee Willis after he smashed through her front window.
In January, a man who told police he was being carjacked shot David A. Mullins in a Franklinton alley. Mullins died at the scene.
Last year, of the city’s 89 homicides, five were in self-defense.
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