An Ontario resident shot and killed an intruder who broke into his apartment in the middle of the night and attacked his sleeping son, police said.
Officers said the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Thomas Gilbert Manzano, entered the home in the 2500 block of East Riverside Drive (map) about 3 a.m. when the resident opened fire.
Manzano and a friend had been drinking alcohol for several hours when they decided to go to what they thought was a vacant apartment where the friend had been squatting, police said. Manzano’s mother lives in the same complex.
When Manzano came to the door, the resident turned him away, police said. That’s when Manzano allegedly threatened the resident, forced his way into the home through a bedroom window and confronted the resident’s adult son. Police said Manzano began to threaten and attack the son.
The father, who heard the commotion from another bedroom, armed himself with a firearm before coming to his son’s aid. He fired several rounds at Manzano and struck him.
Manzano, pictured right, was transported to a hospital with life-threatening wounds.
He died a short time later.
Manzano’s friend was questioned and later released, police said.
The resident and his son were cooperating with detectives.
The case will be investigated as a homicide, officials said, but it’s unclear whether the resident will face charges. The district attorney will determine whether the shooting was justified.
According to California law, citizens have a right to protect themselves and their families, but there are conditions.
"The homeowner, the citizen, has to be able to articulate or apply the appropriate amount of force that was done against them,” Ontario Police Sgt. David McBride said.
Police said Manzano was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Manzano’s family members said he was a father of two young children who did not deserve to die for making a mistake. They said they believe the shooting was unjustified.
"Just because you have a gun and its registered, doesn't give you the right to kill somebody," said Manzano’s uncle, who identified himself only as Alfonso.
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