An elderly Phoenix man tried to warn a would-be burglar not to go any further, but the teenager did not heed the warnings and may pay with his life.
The incident occurred Tuesday morning in west Phoenix when a man in his 60s, who uses an oxygen tank, heard glass breaking in the rear of his house. When he went to investigate, he saw a man in his late teens, apparently trying to break into the house.
Sgt. Vince Lewis told Fox 10 News that the elderly man warned the suspect twice that he had a gun and then opened fire.
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The suspect was hit, but took off running, jumping over a back wall to a nearby alley before collapsing from his wounds. He was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition and is not expected to survive, according to Phoenix police.
Raquel Valenzuela, one of the elderly man’s neighbors, said his actions were justified. “That’s the only thing you can do, because by the time you call the cops, it’s going to be a while…If you have something to defend yourself, then [use] it.”
Arizona passed a strong “Castle Doctrine” law in 2006. Under the law, a person is justified in using “both physical force and deadly physical force against another…to the extent the person reasonably believes” it is “immediately necessary” to prevent burglary, among other crimes. Under this law, there is also no duty to retreat in the face of the threat.
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