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Shooting probe Wounded homeowner, 70, expected to survive; suspects far from Forsyth


Anyone with information about the shooting Monday morning on Magnolia Avenue is encouraged to call (770) 886-2800, Ext. 3323, or (770) 781-3087.

FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County senior citizen who was shot twice while defending her home near Lake Lanier from would-be burglars remained hospitalized Thursday as authorities continued to look for her attackers.

“She will be in the hospital [in Gainesville] for a while,” said Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. “We are still not releasing her name or her condition, but she will survive the gunshot wounds.

“We’re still hoping that somebody will remember this week that they did see something unusual Monday morning and give us a call.”

About 10:30 a.m. Monday, two suspects broke into the 70-year-old woman’s house on Magnolia Avenue northeast of Cumming. She awakened to find them burglarizing her home and was shot in the stomach and arm during the ensuing confrontation.

She also managed to return their gunfire, though authorities aren’t sure whether either of the suspects was hit.

Rainwater said that the same suspects, described only as a black man and woman who drove off in an undetermined type of vehicle, had earlier entered two other homes in the heavily wooded residential area near the lake.

“We’re still processing the three burglaries,” Rainwater said. “We’re still processing the evidence we did take. But right now, nothing points to a specific person or people.

“We’re still trying to piece all that together. But right now, the investigation hasn’t revealed that there’s any other blood in the home other than hers.”

Rainwater said that there is no reason to believe the suspects are from the area or remain in the vicinity.

“We have no doubt in our minds that these burglars drove up to Forsyth County Monday morning and randomly chose these three homes,” he said. “We don’t believe they were here for a week staking out the subdivision. We don’t believe that they had prior knowledge of these homes.

“It appears to be, based on everything we’ve seen, just burglars going through a subdivision. They look at a house [and] they think no one is home. That’s when they pull in.”

Rainwater also said cases like this are a rarity — not only in Forsyth but across the region. Most burglars just want to get quick money or items.

“I can’t remember this event ever happening before this,” Rainwater said. “Only because 90 percent of your burglars, they’re thieves, they like property crimes. They like to take the property and sell it that same day for whatever reason, a drug abuse [or] addiction issue. They want money.

“They’re not trying to get in a shootout with homeowners. This is why it’s so rare … burglars are not usually armed when they go into someone’s home. When they see the homeowner, they run.”

Despite the neighborhood’s proximity to the lake, Rainwater said the area is filled more with family homes than second, or vacation, houses.

“It’s a middle class working class subdivision and most of our lake homes are physically on the lake,” he said. “This subdivision is just a bunch of hard-working people and retirees that aren’t really on the grid in terms of Lake Lanier.”