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Police won't charge man in shooting of burglar

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police have decided not to charge a Lawrenceville homeowner who shot and injured an alleged burglar at his home last week.

Detective S.K. Shaw of the Gwinnett County Police Department said Monday he will not take out any arrest warrants for 27-year-old Ronald Ramsey. The case file will be forwarded to Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter's office for review.

"There was no overt violation of criminal law the way we interpret the code section, but obviously Danny may be able to interpret it a little better than us," Shaw said.

Ramsey had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to police. He could not be reached for comment Monday because his phone number is unlisted. Shaw said Ramsey had been staying with family members in order to avoid media that have attempted to contact him at home.

Ramsey returned to his house on Oakland Walk Court May 30 to find a teenager in the process of burglarizing it. Ramsey's 3-year-old twins were in the car with him at the time, Shaw said.

Police believe Ramsey grabbed a gun that was in his car and fired several shots at the suspect, later identified as 17-year-old Alrazi Basher, as the teen was walking toward a stolen Ford Expedition parked on the street. One of the bullets struck Basher in the abdomen and several others damaged the SUV.

Despite being injured, Basher managed to climb into the Expedition and flee to a friend's townhouse several miles away. Residents of that townhouse on Waverly Hills Drive called 911 after they opened the door to find the wounded teenager on their doorstep.

Basher is expected to be discharged from Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville some time this week, Shaw said. He has refused to be interviewed by police. Basher faces felony charges of burglary and theft by taking a motor vehicle.

A complication with this case as it relates to self-defense laws in Georgia is that Ramsey shot the intruder in the front yard, not inside his home, Porter said. State law mandates that deadly force is justified only if entry to a home is made in a "violent and tumultuous manner for the purpose of assaulting someone in the dwelling, or if force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony.

"Of course I have not seen the reports or the statements, but the fact that the shooting took place outside of the home may complicate things," Porter said.

Porter said he would ask for an expedited review of the case as soon as his office receives evidence from the Gwinnett County Police Department.