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San Diego

February 12, 1988

A burglary suspect was shot in the back when a gun discharged while she and a male accomplice were wrestling with a 78-year-old man who was at home when they broke into his house, police said Thursday.

Denise Nelson was listed in satisfactory condition at San Diego Physicians & Surgeons Hospital, a spokeswoman for the hospital said.

Police spokesman Bill Robinson said that the suspects, Nelson and Salvatore Amato, broke a window and entered the victim's house in the 300 block of Santa Rosalia Drive about 4:40 p.m.

Upon entering the residence, Amato pulled out a gun after being confronted by the 78-year-old man.

A struggle ensued between the victim and the two suspects, during which the victim managed to kick the male suspect. This caused the gun to fire and hit Nelson in the back, Robinson said.

"The bullet went in through her back and came out her stomach," Robinson said.

Amato, 30, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, Robinson said.

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