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Eric Reynolds and a visitor were in his home on Brown Ave. in Shelbyville late Saturday night when three apparently unarmed men tried to enter the home.
Reynolds, 23, opened fire at the intruders. David L. Fletcher, 28, of LaGrange was struck once before being helped away by his companions.
Police say the three fled the scene in a pickup truck and tried to find a hospital to seek treatment for Fletcher's wounds, but they became lost and called police dispatch on a cell phone.
By the time emergency workers found them in the cab of their truck on Mount Eden Road, Fletcher was dead.
Fletcher's companions, Timothy Carpenter, 22, of La Grange and Joshua Fast, 22, of Crestwood, were charged with second-degree burglary.
Police would not describe the weapon used by Reynolds or the fatal injury to Fletcher, other than to say it was a single shot.
Kentucky State Police Detective Mitch Harris, who is heading up the investigation, said Reynolds has not been charged at this time. He added that he doesn't know if charges will be forthcoming.
"We are still looking into a lot of things," he said.
Kentucky State Trooper Ron Turley said that under Kentucky law, residents have the right to protect themselves if an intruder breaks into the home.
"It doesn't mean you won't be charged, but unless there are aggravating circumstances, you have the right to protect yourself," he said.
Harris said Reynolds was acquainted with the three men but that he didn't know who they were at the time at the time of the shooting.
Harris said that Reynolds was not alone at the time of the break-in but declined to say who was at home with him and that, so far, it is not believed that the three men were armed.
Carpenter and Fast were taken to the Shelby County Jail. Fast was released Sunday on a $15,000 surety bond. Carpenter is still in custody, under a $15,000 full cash bond.
Natalie Wilson, with pre-trial services, said the judge specified a cash bond for Carpenter because he had a prior criminal record and Fast did not.
Carpenter was arraigned Tuesday and has a pretrial hearing scheduled for Oct. 30. Fast has a court date of Nov. 25.