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Sledge-wielding burglar killed by homeowner

WENATCHEE – Police say a man used a sledgehammer to break into a house in Wenatchee early Monday, shot the owner and was then shot to death.

Police Chief Tom Robbins said neighbors reported shouting and gunshots at 1:28 a.m. Officers found 43-year-old Scott Bates had shot 25-year-old Joshua D. Ray with a .45-caliber pistol, after which Ray fatally shot Bates in the chest with an SKS rifle.

Robbins said Ray was taken to Central Washington Hospital for treatment of a flesh wound in the upper leg. After that, the police chief said, the homeowner will be booked into jail for investigation of misdemeanor drug offenses.

Robbins said the episode is believed to be drug-related, although the motive for the break-in remains under investigation.