Family Raises Slain Intruder's History of Sleepwalking

PHOTO: Spencer Crandall, seen in this 2012 booking photo, was arrested for trespassing, Dec. 3, 2012.Denton County Jail
Spencer Crandall, seen in this 2012 booking photo, was arrested for trespassing, Dec. 3, 2012.

No one may ever know what was going through the mind of a Texas man who was shot dead the morning after Christmas on a neighbor’s porch, but his relatives say they have a clue: He may have been sleepwalking.

Spencer Crandall, 31, was ringing the bell and banging on the door of his neighbor’s home at 4 a.m. until the homeowner and his female partner came outside to find Crandall attempting to climb over their privacy fence, Wise County Sheriff David Walker said today.

The homeowner retrieved a firearm from his house, not aware that Crandall was his neighbor. After a brief altercation, a physical struggle ensued between both individuals, which eventually led to Crandall’s trying to enter the front door, authorities say.

“He [the homeowner] told Mr. Crandall he was armed, ‘This is not your house.’ He was still trying to get in, at that point the homeowner fired one round and striked Mr. Crandall to the chest,” Walker told ABC News.

The woman’s 14-year-old daughter called 911 and the Wise County EMS and Fire Department responded. Crandall was found dead at the scene, authorities said.

Crandall’s wife, Amanda Crandall, was out of town in Mississippi during the incident. Walker said the Crandall family told investigators Crandall had a history of sleepwalking, which relatives say may help explain his behavior that morning.

“We may not ever know why he was trying to get into the house,” he added.

Investigators are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office. The incident is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed against the homeowner.

Crandall’s funeral is being held today and relatives are unavailable to comment.