San Bernardino County Homeowner Kills Intruder

A homeowner feared for his safety and that of his family when a man broke into their home early Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Rialto man who entered his neighbor's property following a party was shot and killed after being taken for an intruder. Andy Garcia's grieving family and friends say the 20-year-old's death was unjustified. Tony Shin reports from Rialto for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 23, 2014.

    A man who broke into a home and was fatally shot by a homeowner in San Bernardino County was identified as 20-year-old Andy Garcia of Rialto.

    The intruder escaped but fell down in the home's back yard. He died at a hospital at 4:30 a.m. Sunday. No arrests have been made.

    Garcia's family members, meanwhile, mourned their loss.

    "He had a big heart," said his sister Miranda Garcia. "We were always together, always telling each other how we felt about things."

    On Saturday, Andy Garcia was at a party at his family home on Primrose Avenue, celebrating his sister's graduation from high school when he got into a confrontation with Miranda Garcia's boyfriend.

    Family members say Andy Garcia had been drinking and they knew they had to defuse the situation.

    But seconds after leaving the home Andy Garcia, who wasn't wearing shoes, jumped out of a cousin's car and ran toward a neighbor's home three doors down.

    Seconds later, Ruben Cortez, his stepfather, heard the gunshots.

    "It was, 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,'" he said.

    Rialto police say Andy had jumped over a fence into a neighbor's backyard. The homeowner told police he grabbed his gun as Andy Garcia tried to break inside.

    Capt. Randy de Anda said the homeowner feared for his safety and the safety of his family.

    "To the extent of how far he got into the residence, I can't comment on, but we do have evidence at the location that indicates that there was a physical confrontation."

    Family members believe the homeowner overreacted and shouldn't have used deadly force.

    "We didn't hear no yelling ... nothing," said Ruben Cortez. "All we heard was gunshots."

    As for Miranda Garcia, her graduation day will now always be remembered as the day her older brother was shot and killed.

    "I miss him so much," she said, through tears.

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