An estranged husband who was shot after breaking into the home of his wife's male friend remained at University Hospital Thursday.

Robert Hunter, 50, was shot in the chest and arms with a 12-gauge shotgun after police say he broke into the home of Joe McIntosh on Wednesday night. West Valley Police Capt. Tom McLachlan said Hunter's injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

The incident began just before 9 p.m. near 3700 South and 6000 West. Hunter allegedly parked his truck a street away and walked to McIntosh's home. Hunter, who had been separated from his wife for several months, had been served divorce papers earlier that day, McLachlan said.

His estranged wife was in the house with McIntosh. Hunter went to the back sliding glass door, shattered the glass and entered the house, McLachlan said.

There had been previous incidents between Hunter and McIntosh, including some threats, McLachlan said.

"Those threats may have made (McIntosh) quite leery," he said.

McIntosh fired a shotgun at Hunter almost as soon as he entered. Hunter was hit and retreated. Investigators later learned that Hunter was carrying loaded 9 mm and .22-caliber handguns with him. Police said whether Hunter pointed his weapons at anyone, whether he fired a shot or whether McIntosh even knew he was armed, were all questions being addressed in the investigation.

Officers arriving at the scene weren't sure what had happened at first, and for safety they set up a containment of the area and had McIntosh and the woman come outside and surrender.

Hunter was found next to his truck, McLachlan said. He was taken by medical helicopter to the hospital.

McIntosh was not arrested. All three weapons involved in the incident were seized as evidence. McLachlan said the case would be screened by the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office to determine what charges to file, if any, and against whom they should be filed.

Speaking in general terms and not specific to Wednesday's incident, McLachlan said residents have a right to defend themselves and their homes by reasonable means and can defend their lives if they believe there is a valid threat.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com