Suspect in home invasion shot by homeowner, calls 911

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
Scene of reported burglary northeast of Port Charlotte along the 160 block of Strasburg Drive. Charlotte County Deputies brought a suspect into custody Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. Credit: WINK News.

A suspect in a home invasion was shot by the homeowner during a physical struggle Thursday evening on the 100 block of Strasburg Drive in Port Charlotte.

The suspect, identified as Jessica Gutzler, 40, fled the scene but later called 911 asking for medical assistance. She was taken into custody for medical treatment at that time, and will also face criminal charges.

“We noticed out of our front window the blue lights,” neighbor Louise Webb said. “There were police officers standing here, and they were here for at least a little while.”

At 7:00 p.m., deputies responded to a 911 call from a person inside the Strasburg home, saying that a woman named “Jessica” broke into their home through the front door and was now in a “physical altercation with the homeowner.”

Jessica Gutzler. 40

During the attack, the homeowner fired a round from their handgun, striking the suspect in the lower-left back, which caused the suspect to let go.

The suspect fled the scene and deputies began a search of the area while also taking statements from the two victims inside the home.

Deputies determined the homeowners knew the suspect and came to the house to start a fight.

During the time of the investigation, Jessica Gutzler called 911 asking for medical assistance. She was located in the area of Strasburg Drive and Seaton Avenue and transported to the hospital.

Neighbors told us it’s the first time they saw a sheriff’s office response in their neighborhood.

“I haven’t seen anything. I haven’t heard anything. It’s been pretty quiet,” neighbor Don Erichsen said. 

The home was processed for evidence, and the physical evidence (including the injury to Gutzler) was consistent with the two victim’s descriptions of the altercation.

“We just didn’t expect anything big going on here,” Webb said. 

Gutzler will be charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling – Unarmed, Making an Assault or Battery upon her release from medical care.

“Now, I’m wondering what’s going on around here,” Erichsen said. “So just have to stay alert and keep my eyes open.”

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