Man fires shotgun blast through floor as intruder flees

Man fires shotgun blast through floor as intruder flees »Play Video
Read Williamson speaks with reporters outside his house on Tuesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A man fired a shotgun round through the floor of his Northeast Portland home early Tuesday morning when he said he heard an intruder inside the house.

Police said there was no evidence to suggest the intruder was hurt by the blast. The homeowner, Read Williamson, told police he heard someone speed away in a car after he fired the gun. His home is located in the 2100 block of NE 37th Avenue.

Williamson, talking to reporters on Tuesday while holding an infant, said he was asleep upstairs at 3:17 a.m. when his golden retriever “started whining, which she doesn’t do.”

He thought the dog might need to go out but then he heard a noise come from the downstairs area, the dog barked loudly and then ran downstairs. “At that point, I could hear somebody moving around,” he said.

“There’s somebody down there,” he told his wife. With their cell phones out of reach downstairs, Williamson said he grabbed a shotgun and loaded it with bird shot.

Williamson said he heard the intruder run for the back door and at the same time “I shot a hole straight through my floor.” He said the entire incident took place in the span of about 30 seconds.

He said he didn’t see the intruder but knew he was at the bottom of the stairs, which leads up to where he and his wife were sleeping.

Williamson said he’s “never thought about someone coming in” to his house. “We leave our windows open all the time, we leave our doors open all the time,” he said. “Not when we go to bed, but…”

Police investigators said the suspect apparently got into the home through a ground-floor window. Nothing in the home was stolen.

Williamson said the incident has upset his wife. As for shooting through his floor, Williamson said “I don’t know how smart that was, in retrospect.” But he added “I’d do it again. I mean, it was the loudest thing I had. What else would we have done?”

“It did work,” Williamson added. “They were gone just like that. They didn’t touch anything.”

This is the second incident in recent days where a homeowner fired at an intruder. On Saturday, police said a Vancouver man shot and killed an intruder in his home.

Anyone with information about the suspect in this case is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau at CrimeTips@PortlandOregon.gov.