Levy County Home Invasion and Shooting
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Detectives don't believe the two incidents are related. But neighbors are still a little worried about what's happened to their quiet neighborhood.
The two incidents happened just a mile and a half apart. Deputies don't have a suspect in the Thursday's early morning break-in, and they don't even have a motive because nothing was taken.
It wasn't the rooster that woke up Dale and Pat White, but someone breaking in their back door about 6:20 A.M., an hour before sunrise.
Next door neighbor Russ McGee had taken his dog outside about an hour earlier and was making coffee when he saw all the lights from the sheriff's vehicles. He found out later that his friend and neighbor Dale White had been shot.
"Something like that can happen in your own house," says McGee. "It's pretty worrisome when something like that happens so close by."
Detectives were out searching for anything that would lead them to the shooter. One deputy had been two blocks away, arriving within minutes of the 911 call, but didn't see anyone leaving the area.
"It is alarming that early in the morning, someone broke in, a stranger," says Lt. Evan Sullivan with the Levy County Sheriff's Office. "This is not like, at this time, that we know of, a relative or someone we know. It is a stranger."
Sullivan says the White's bedroom is near the back door, and is where Dale was shot. So they called in a bloodhound. The suspect's trail led out of the back door and across the yard, ending at a section of fence partially folded over, where it looks like someone tried to make a quick getaway. The trail continued across the street and into the trees near a neighbor's home.
McGee lives across the street from where the trail ends. With two recent break-ins, he'll be sure that his routine of always locking up doesn't change.
"I guess that's about the only thing you can do is make sure your house is secure," says McGee. "Hopefully nobody can break-in, or at least you'd have some sort of warning."
Sullivan says what's also unusual about this crime is the time. 2 A.M. or about 2 P.M. is the most typical time for a burglar to break into a home.
He adds, as of Thursday evening, White is in the hospital in critical but stable condition.
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