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ATLANTA -- When is it okay to shoot someone in self-defense? That's what Atlanta police are looking closely at after a man in his 50's was shot and killed by a homeowner in Southwest Atlanta Monday morning.

The suspect was confronted by the homeowner outside a home at 470 Connell Avenue SW at 7:30AM, according to Captain Paul Guerrucci. The Homicide Commander said the homeowner was not being identified pending their investigation. The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office said the suspect who was killed is not being identified pending notification of his next of kin.

Police said the suspect was on the property of the homeowner and his wife despite the fact that the house is surrounded by a fence and the gate to the couple's driveway is padlocked.

Police said in order to justify the shooting the homeowner had to feel his life or his wife's life was in danger. "Any time somebody encounters somebody in their back yard, at 7:30 in the morning, it can be quite frightening, Capt. Guerrucci said.

The same home was broken into Saturday morning, two days before the shooting and the couple was home at the time. "A subject broke into that house, which also put the homeowners in fear of their lives," Guerrucci said. "Based on the information that we were originally given during that break-in it is very possible that this is the same individual."

Police questioned the homeowner and he was released. "There's nothing out of the ordinary," Guerrucci said. "These decisions are not made quickly. We get with the District Attorney's Office to ensure that all legal standards are followed."

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