Man Accused Of Shooting Suspected Burglar Could Face Charges - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Man Accused Of Shooting Suspected Burglar Could Face Charges

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An Athens County man accused of shooting and killing a suspected burglar could face murder charges. An Athens County man accused of shooting and killing a suspected burglar could face murder charges.
Keith Rutter Keith Rutter
GLOUSTER, Ohio -

An Athens County man could face murder charges after he allegedly shot and killed a suspected burglar Thursday.

Deputies from the Athens County Sheriff's Office were called to a home in Glouster on a report of a burglary at about 10:54 a.m.

According to the Athens County Sheriff's Office, 34-year-old Keith "P.J." Rutter was seen walking from the woods next to Ronnie Shover's Glouster home Thursday morning. Witnesses say Rutter then attempted to get into the home through a back door while Shover was mowing the lawn.

Shover's son-in-law reportedly saw Rutter trying to break into the home and fired several shots into the air, according to a detective with the sheriff's office. The detective says Rutter began to run and the son-in-law fired in his direction, striking him.

Shover's son-in-law immediately began to perform CPR on him until emergency crews arrived, according to the sheriff's office. Rutter was pronounced dead at 1:05 p.m. Thursday.

Neighbor Linsey Cooper says she saw the whole incident unfold.

"They turned the body over and they found a key and an open knife laying underneath him," said Cooper.

Detectives confirmed the key found underneath Rutter belonged to Shover's home.

Detectives say Rutter was the suspect in multiple burglaries in the area of state Route 13 and Taylor Ridge Road.

Cooper says she suspected Rutter had also broken into her father's home on multiple occasions.

"First time it was an AK 47, and then it was five guns, and then it was his medicine. Pain medicine," said Cooper. She says her father is a cancer patient.

Athens County officials tell NBC4 murder charges could be filed because Rutter had not threatened harm to the shooter. The officials did say, however, that they don't think the Athens County Grand Jury will indict the shooter on those charges.

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