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Background of dead intruder investigated

by Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN — Douglas County investigators were in Antioch, Calif., Tuesday looking into the background of a man who was shot and killed by a homeowner Saturday.

Investigators hope to find a clue to Walter Francis Hetrick’s behavior, which led to his shooting by Gardnerville resident Charles H. Cryderman, 52.

Cryderman was in his Log Cabin home with a .357-caliber revolver at 11:24 p.m. when Hetrick, 40, used a rock to break out a side window and open a door.

Cryderman fired five shots, hitting Hetrick in the foot, thigh and shoulder. The shot to the thigh shattered the femur, severing the artery, and Hetrick quickly bled to death.

Authorities pronounced Hetrick dead at 12:12 a.m. Sunday at Carson Valley Medical Center.

Cryderman was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Biaggini said Tuesday that a man protecting “his castle” against a man committing felony crimes — in this case, burglary and home invasion — is allowed to shoot.

“(Cryderman) was trying to stop him,” Biaggini said. “He was in fear of his life. His whole family was there.”

Biaggini said Hetrick was unarmed, but said he “could have acquired something when he came into the home.”

Investigators are looking into Hetrick’s criminal history. Biaggini confirmed the man has had run-ins with the law.

An autopsy will reveal whether Hetrick had drugs in his system, but Biaggini said drugs are not considered a cause of his behavior.

A toxicology report typically takes two to three weeks to return, Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said.

“Everything thus far indicates (Hetrick) was acting alone,” Mezzetta said.

Hetrick’s 1985 Ford Ranger was found on a dirt road about 100 yards from Cryderman’s home.