Panic alarm credited for helping to catch murder suspect, alleged home invader

Updated:

Shawn Fortner
SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. —

A Sumter County family is crediting their homes panic alarm system with saving their lives.

Authorities said a man charged with murder broke into the house as the family was cooking dinner and threatened to kill them.

Deputies said Shawn Fortner killed his grandmother in Ocoee, and then drove to Sumter County, got naked and threatened to kill the France family last month.

The homeowner hit the panic alarm and after a short chase by authorities, Fortner was caught.

"It was a relief to know he had been caught, because our biggest fear was that he would come back," said homeowner Colleen France.

Fortner was arrested in Wildwood, and returned to Orange County where he faces charges in the death of his grandmother.