Pine County man dead after fatal home invasion

By KBJR News 1

November 14, 2013 Updated Nov 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM CDT

Sandstone, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A home invasion at the residence of an elderly man in rural Sandstone has left one man dead.

When authorities got to the home on the Fox road near Sandstone the homeowner told them that two men had broken into his home around 3am.

He said at least one of the suspects was armed with a handgun and confronted him.

"It is a very frightening situation alone to have someone break into your home when you're present... but to have people break into your home that are armed that brings the level of danger to a point that is absolutely.. it's unbelievable," said Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole.

"It doesn't happen... ever," said Wendy Iverson, who works in the area.

The owner of the home that was broken into told authorities he grabbed a handgun of his own and shot the armed suspect, killing him.

The deceased suspect has been identified as 23 year old Gypsy Wayne Watts of Pine County.

The homeowner wasn't hurt in the incident.

"He's an old guy, he's a guy that I know, he's a nice guy and it's a terrible thing to have to do this and he just feels terrible, but ya know he kind of said he wasn't going to be killed... and it's unfortunate," said Sheriff Cole.

The second suspect then fled on foot but is believed to have had a car parked nearby, possibly with someone at the wheel.

"The thought that somebody may be lurking through the woods... ya know, it's a little unnerving," said Iverson.

Later in the day three "people of interest," were taken into custody in connection with the fatal home invasion.

Officers in Pine County say that the homeowner feels awful about what happened.

"Unfortunately somebody had to be killed here today, but, ya know, at least it wasn't the residents that were in this home, because had that happened we'd really have a mess on our hands," said Sheriff Cole.

Sheriff Cole said the elderly man didn't know who the men were who broke into his home.

Another man was sleeping in the home at the time of invasion.

Neither he nor the elderly homeowner were hurt.

The case is being investigated by the Pine County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Elsa Robins