william louis stewart

William Louis Stewart

A Lancaster resident took “action that he thought was necessary” when he shot a man who kicked in the front door of his home Sunday morning, an official said.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident which occurred around 2:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Marietta Avenue.

"We're working backwards to decide what led to (this) and why," Lt. Bill Hickey said Monday. "There are no charges in the pipelines for the homeowners at this point."

Police said William Louis Stewart, 46, of Lancaster, kicked in the door, prompting a woman who lives there to scream for help from the first floor.

The woman’s husband, who was asleep upstairs, heard the commotion, retrieved a handgun, and confronted the intruder, who was advancing with a piece of wood, police said. The husband shot Stewart once in the chest, after which his wife called 911, according to police.

No one else was in the house at the time of the incident.

Stewart was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries that didn’t appear life-threatening.

He was released from the hospital before noon Monday, police said Tuesday. 

According to court documents, Stewart was arraigned Monday afternoon on charges of burglary, simple assault and criminal mischief and committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The homeowners — whom police did not identify — were interviewed at the police station while the scene was processed for evidence. They told police they didn’t know Stewart and he had no reason to be in their home.

Winters said investigators are still trying to determine why Stewart went to that particular home and what his intentions were. He said the gun used in the shooting was legally-owned.

“The residents were very frightened to find someone forcing their way into their home through their front door and entering their home,” Winters said. “The homeowner took action that he thought was necessary to protect himself, his wife and their home. Fortunately, they were not injured.”

Police ask anyone with information to call Lancaster police at 717-735-3300. Tipsters also may call Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913 or anonymously text LANCS plus your message to 847411 (TIP411).

Staff Writer Jennifer Todd contributed to this report.