Sheriff: Intruder shoots Vancleave teen; tips sought

VANCLEAVE -- A 17-year-old was shot when he returned home from church Sunday and used his father's gun to defend himself against an intruder, Sheriff Mike Ezell said.

The teen, who lives on Carter Homestead Road, was lying on the tailgate of a truck when deputies responded to a call for help about 11:23 a.m.

Acadian Ambulance took the teen to Ocean Springs Hospital, where he remained hospitalized Monday, Ezell said.

The teen has undergone surgery but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, the sheriff said.

The heavily wooded area is east of Old River Road.

"Our details are sketchy with limited information because the teen was rushed to a hospital," Ezell said. "We're not exactly sure how everything happened."

The teen did not indicate he knew the intruder or that another vehicle was in the driveway when he returned home, Ezell said.

Investigators reported the teen said he came home and surprised an intruder.

The teen said he struggled with the intruder and was able to grab his father's gun, but was shot with that weapon, Ezell said.

"He went outside and told a neighbor to call for help," Ezell said. "The neighbor stayed with him until help arrived."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 769-3063 or 769-3065.

Or tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898, text CSTIP plus a message to CRIMES (274637) or go online at

Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest or indictment on a felony charge. Tipsters can remain anonymous, even while collecting a reward.