Today’s news:

Cops arrest home defender

Police said they arrested a Middle Village tenant who fatally shot a robber during a home invasion last week after the gun was discovered to be illegal.

The robber, a Manhattan resident whose name was not released, died after being shot twice during the incident, which took place just before 5 a.m. on April 22 at 64-05 70th St. in Middle Village, police said.

Keith Green, deputy inspector for the 104th Precinct, told members of the Juniper Park Civic Association at their monthly meeting last Thursday that the victims, a couple who had recently moved into the neighborhood, appeared to have been targeted by the robbers, two of whom fled after the shooting.

"It's certain this was not a random robbery," he said. "This was a targeted robbery. There are still two people out there we want to catch."

Green said the couple, who lived in the apartment, were returning home when three men wearing stocking masks approached them in their driveway and forced them into their home. The robbers then tied the couple's hands and assaulted them, he said.

The suspects took the victims' car keys and left the apartment to search their car, Green said.

But the woman freed her hands and then cut the duct tape on her boyfriend's hands, Green said. The man retrieved a gun he had in the apartment and fired five times at one of the robbers, who had re-entered the home after digging through the couple's car with the other two men, he said.

The robber was killed after being hit by two bullets, but the other two men fled the scene, Green said.

The male victim said he did not know the men who had attempted to rob him, Green said.

But police arrested the tenant, whose name was not released, after they found that his gun was illegal, Green said. He said it was unclear what the thieves had been searching for in the apartment, but it may have been narcotics.

"A small amount of drugs was found in the apartment," Green said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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