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81-year-old fatally shoots home invasion suspect, says gun had never been used in 30 years

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UNIONTOWN, Pa. - A home invasion suspect was fatally shot early Friday morning in Uniontown when the 81-year-old homeowner pulled out a gun, according to investigators.

Police said 46-year-old Franklin Schrout, of Smithfield, rode a bike to the house with tools to break in, then ransacked the home and assaulted the 81-year-old man.

“Once the actor came into his bedroom, the actor was demanding to know where money was. He told them he didn't have any money or anything of value in the home,” Uniontown police Lt. Tom Kolencik said.

The 81-year-old was able to grab a .22-caliber gun during a struggle with Schrout and fired one shot, police said.

Schrout ran out of the house and the 81-year-old’s bedridden sister called 911, police said.

When police arrived at the home, they found Schrout dead outside.

The 81-year-old told police that he had never fired the gun before and that it had been sitting in his nightstand for 30 years. He also said he wished he had been stronger so that he could have fought off Schrout without having to shoot him.

“The only thing he told us was that he had to protect himself. He also lived with an elderly sister, who is bedridden, so he just kept referring to protecting her, protecting himself,” Kolencik said.

Although police said the shooting appears to have been in self-defense, the District Attorney’s Office will make a final determination.