Army veteran subdues Spokane Valley home invasion suspect



Posted on March 6, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 3:26 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash-- A homeowner in Spokane Valley tackled a man who smashed through his patio door and held him until deputies arrived.

Army veteran, Gary Wheldon said his first thought was keeping his wife safe when the man broke into his house on S. St. Charles Rd.

Wheldon said he and his wife, Ellen, were enjoying a relaxing afternoon when she called for help.

“I said he’s coming to the door,” she said. “He started banging on the glass.”

Gary said he instinctively ran after the would-be burglar and held him for several minutes.

Meanwhile, Ellen called 911.

Deputies eventually arrived and took the suspect into custody.
Ellen said she realized how scary the situation was after her adrenaline had worn off.

“Makes us realize how vulnerable we are,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done if I would have been home alone.”

Gary said he realized he put himself in danger, but he would do anything to keep Ellen safe.

“I wanted to protect my wife,” he said. “I didn’t really think a lot.

Deputies said they recognized the suspect, identified as Cameron Brunson, 19, who had a backpack, and believed he was looking for some cash and things to steal.

Brunson reportedly told deputies he came to the house to steal back his stolen property.  He claimed a friend told him his stolen items were at the S. Charles Road address and that the back door would be unlocked.  Brunson said he went to the library on Argonne that morning to Google the address so he could plan a route to the residence, according to officials. 

Wheldon said he had never seen Brunson before.

Brunson was booked into jail for the felony charge of Residential Burglary.