FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Ted Jensen returned home after dropping his wife off at work Thursday morning. He found his house had been ransacked, and the intruder was still inside. It appeared he had entered every bedroom, except the one where Jensen's 11-year-old daughter was sleeping.
"She was asleep, and he was in my house," said Jensen, who armed himself with a gun. "He did not hear me coming. I don't think he knew I was there."
He said the intruder was in a room, holding a gun that belonged to Jensen's older son. The intruder ignored commands to get on the ground, according to Jensen. Instead the man dove out a first story window, and jumped into nearby Lake Lorene in Federal Way.
"He kept on taking his clothes off, all the way down to his skivvies and socks," said Jensen. "Once he got tired of swimming he started sinking. I said, hey you're going to drown, I don't want you dead."
The man gave in, and Jensen said he helped him onto the bank.
"He cried until the cops came," said Jensen. "He kept thanking me for not shooting him, but kept begging me to let him go. I told him I can't let you go."
Police arrived and arrested the man.
Jensen's daughter, Taylor, hid out in her room until she heard police telling her it was safe.
"The things could have been replaced. I don't care about the stuff," said Jensen as he stood next to his wife and daughter.
This was one of at least three instances on Thursday and five since last week in which homeowners armed themselves with guns to repel burglars.
On Thursday, a homeowner in Bonney Lake shot at the pickup truck of a fleeing burglar and in Gig Harbor, a woman showed a gun to two young men trying to break into her home. All the suspects escaped.
A retired Puyallup police officer shot and killed a man who was attempting to break into his home Wednesday afternoon.
Last Friday, a North Bend homeowner shot and killed a man who broke into the bedroom where the homeowner and his girlfriend were hiding.