CLEVELAND -- An intruder was shot and killed Wednesday morning during a home invasion on the city's east side.
Cleveland police are now investigating the burglary to determine whether the homeowner should face charges.
The burglar, now identified as David Fletcher, 43, of Cleveland, is perhaps the first casualty in the war for Portage Avenue.
"Everybody has this problem with people breaking in these abandoned houses," neighbor Ben Blair said.
Like many inner city neighborhoods, Portage Avenue is plagued with abandoned homes. The gunman, who neighbors call "Mike," bought up a half dozen houses to remodel.
"He's trying to refinish and refurbish these houses so we can get more people in the neighborhood instead of them tearing them down," Blair said.
The ongoing fight with thieves stealing siding and pipes came to a head Wednesday morning when "Mike" shot and killed a 43-year-old intruder wielding a knife
"You got to protect your goods. You got to protect your merchandise," neighbor Joe Glass said.
This is the first use of deadly force to defend the home. It is now the neighborhood debate.
"He is crazy. He is crazy. He always carries a weapon on him," neighbor Danica Taylor said.
Last January, the same house was burglarized.
"He told me after that, he was in waiting on them in the house. He did say he was going to shoot them," Norma Clemins said.
The gunman doesn't live here so why he was here at 7:30 in the morning has not been explained.
The neighborhood is fighting for its survival. This is the first time, though, fresh paint was traded for pistols to hold blight at bay.