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Intruder into home shot to death by resident, police say

LAWRENCEVILLE - An unidentified intruder was shot and killed by a resident late Monday in a subdivision off Cruse Road in Lawrenceville.

The deceased suspect is a black man who appears to be between 20 and 30 years old, according to police.

Jose Bercian, 23, told police he walked out of his bedroom about 10:30 p.m. to find a stranger inside his house on Connors Court in Glen Oaks Racquet Club subdivision. Bercian darted back into his room, retrieved a handgun and confronted the man, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

The intruder reportedly pulled out his own firearm and shot at Bercian, who returned fire, striking and killing the intruder.

No one else was home at Bercian's residence Tuesday morning.

Rick Nophouvieng, 27, who lives across the street from Bercian, heard gunshots Monday night while he was watching TV.

"At first I thought it was a drive-by shooting," Nophouvieng said.

Then Bercian came to his door and asked to use the phone, telling Nophouvieng he had shot a man breaking into his house. Nophouvieng said he overheard Bercian tell a 911 operator he shot the intruder five times.

Nophouvieng also went across the street to see what happened. The intruder was lying on the floor just inside the house, apparently dead, Nophouvieng said.

"I saw two blood drips from his head," Nophouvieng said. "The dude that got killed was three or four times (Bercian's) size."

Police said they are still working to see if Bercian's story checks out. Asked whether Bercian will be charged with any crime, Moloney said, "Everything at this point suggests no."

"We have a dead body and we have statements by the victim. It's too early to tell," Moloney said.