Burglary victim who shot at suspects in self-defense still without his guns

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — In September of last year, one man saw a burglary in progress on his security camera. Two people were seen breaking in and going through his belongings in a nearby shed to his home.

Moments later, upon being discovered, gunshots could be heard from the suspects towards the home, breaking a screen door window. But the security camera also showed the victim firing back, and it was enough to scare the suspects off — three in all.

“The burglars didn’t take anything,” said the victim. “They dropped the change purse running out of here. I did what I had to do.  Cops said I did what I had to do.”

The victim in this case wished not to reveal his name, partly because the other suspects in his case have not been caught.

He said, after police responded, his guns were impounded to differentiate his bullets from those of the suspects. He said he was originally told it would take a week to get his firearms back. 

But more than a year later, he’s without his guns, and in a legal limbo. He was never considered a suspect and said he never faced the possibility of charges.

“A judge has to sign off,” the victim said he was told. “I did a background check. I did all the paperwork they sent. I sent it back, everything’s good. They’re just waiting on a judge to sign off, and that’s been months now.”

In a statement, a Mecklenburg County Court spokesperson said, “As a general rule, items that are seized as part of an investigation are held in evidence until a case is resolved in court….There are situations, however, when property may be returned to an individual sooner. If someone is requesting the return of evidence before the resolution of a case, they would need to reach out to the assigned Assistant District Attorney.”

They further added that, “The office does receive petitions for release of property from CMPD, and when our courts and judges are available, we have continued to address issues like this throughout the pandemic.”

FOX 46 also reached out to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, who said only one suspect, Dalton Hopkins, had been charged in this incident.

Hopkins has also been charged in a series of other crimes and has a long criminal history with the legal system in Mecklenburg County.

The victim in this case said he fought back against Hopkins and the others involved, but he feels like he’s being punished for it.

“I feel like I was robbed that night, and it wasn’t because of the burglars, it was because of the cops.  That’s how I feel,” he said.

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