Homeowner shoots and kills alleged burglar trying to break into his home, California police say

News & Politics

A homeowner in California was on the phone with an emergency dispatcher when he shot and killed a man he believed to be a burglar trying to break into his home, according to police.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said they were responding to a call of a home burglary at about 5 a.m. on Thursday when the dispatcher heard the gunshots.

When they arrived at the home in Vista, they found an injured suspect who was declared dead after being transported to a local hospital.

Police said the homeowner was the only person at the home at the time of the incident. He was uninjured.

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“We’re talking to neighbors, looking for video surveillance,” said Lt. Joseph Jarjura with the homicide unit. “We’ll collect evidence, photographs, and we’ll try to determine what happened.”

The homeowner was not yet facing charges, but police said the investigation was ongoing.

Michael Schwartz, Executive Director of San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, told KFMB-TV that gun self defense is a complex legal issue in the state of California.

“Inside your home, there’s no requirement for you to have to retreat, and in California, in general, if someone has broken into your home, the law tends to be in favor of the homeowner,” he explained.

However, the manner of break-in could make a difference toward possible charges.

“How did the person break in? What was the motivation for the person who broke in? Was the person fleeing?” Schwartz continued. “If someone has broken into your home, that’s definitely a big factor in proving that you reasonably believed that your life was in danger.”

Vista is a city of about 101,000 people about 42 miles north of San Diego.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

UPDATE: Burglary Suspect Shot By Homeowner In Vista

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