Homeowner, burglary suspects exchange gunfire

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A man exchanged gunfire Friday morning with two people he said were breaking into his vacant house.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said James Michael Shipp, 23, of Docena, and Scotty Dwayne Fulton, Jr., 25, of Odenville, were arrested shortly before noon Friday. Deputies said the two men are charged with burglary.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said a security alarm came in at 9:37 a.m. Friday on a home on Pine Grove Road.  The man who owns the property said he arrived to find two white males breaking into a building on the property. As he pulled in the driveway, he told deputies one of the two suspects shot at him. He then pulled out a deer rifle and returned fire.

The suspects then fled into the surrounding woods. Deputies, with the help of officers from Birmingham, Pleasant Grove, and Hueytown, searched for the men, who were apprehended just before noon on Highway 269 near Shady Grove Road. Pleasant Grove Police Chief Robert Knight was in an unmarked car when he spotted the two suspects.

The suspects were then handed over to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department for questioning. Deputies said they were still searching for the weapons used by the suspects. Investigators also said they left the van they were driving, which had been reported stolen out of Blount County.

Both men were being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $200,000 bond.

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