Home intruder in critical condition after being shot by homeowner

KEWANNA, Ind. -- Police are investigating a home invasion in Fulton County where the homeowner shot the person who broke into his home early Monday morning.

The situation unfolded in the small town of Kewanna, in western Fulton County.

Fulton County Sheriff Walker Conley said 41-year-old Michael Righter, of Kewanna, broke into Camron Vawter's home around 12:05 a.m. Monday.

Righter's estranged wife was inside the home at the time, according to the sheriff.

Vawter shot the intruder.

Neighbors and residents said all three of the parties involved work at a factory at the end of Toner Street, which is about a block down the street from Vawter's home.

Today ABC 57 News found out this wasn't the first time police were called to Vawter's home involving an incident with Righter.

The town's Police Marshal said a few weeks ago the Fulton County Sheriff's Department was called to Vawter's home after Righter showed up and caused some kind of commotion.

The Town Marshal also mentioned a few weeks ago Vawter's house was broken into and the Kewanna Police Department considered Righter a person of interest in the case that was still being investigated.

Kewanna is small, around 350 people call the town home.

For the past two years Susan VanLake has worked as the only morning and afternoon waitress at the Kewanna Kafe.

VanLake said, "Pretty much everybody knows everybody and the history and where they are from."

On Monday most of VanLake's regulars were talking about the home invasion.

"We got a guy that works on the volunteer fire department and he had mentioned to some of the other guys, so that's when the little buzz started happening," she said.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Department along with the Kewanna Town Marshal confirmed Vawter is a Kewanna Union volunteer firefighter.

Sheriff Conley said Righter broke into Vawter's house right around midnight and he was armed with a gun. 

Vawtrer woke up to the sound of the someone breaking in and Vawter armed himself with a firearm.

The Sheriff said Vawter shot the intruder disarming him and then called 911. A female occupant of the residence reported that she is currently going through divorce proceedings with Righter.

VanLake said, "A lot of people couldn't believe it (the shooting) happened like at midnight, there were some people that came in that live a few blocks away that didn't even know that anything was going on."

The bartender and some patrons at Kibitzer, a restaurant and tavern said they knew all three of the parties involved in the incident.

The bartender said Righter would come in everyday on his lunch break for a Mountain Dew.

She said for the past few months he would talk about how he was going through a divorce and expressed how distraught he was over the ordeal.

He expressed how upset he was that his estranged wife was now dating Cameron Vawter, one of his co-workers.

Police investigating the case confirmed that Righter was shot multiple times and he was flown to South Bend's Memorial Hospital. He was last listed in critical condition.

The Sheriff said no one at his department was available to talk in person about the case because the majority of his nine member department was at the scene shortly after midnight and they  were going home late this morning to get some sleep.

Assisting at the scene were the Indiana State Police, Kewanna Police, the Kenwanna Fire Department and Fulton County EMS. The case has been turned over to the Fulton County Prosecutor's office. The prosecutor will determine if charges will be filed in this case.

Vawter and Righter's estranged wife declined comment when approached by ABC 57 News this afternoon. 

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