A 93-year-old retired plumber used a shotgun with a single shell to successfully protect himself and his property after being targeted by a gang who kicked his door open and attacked him in his own home.
Homeowner Joe Teague told KNBC-TV the group of home invaders “kicked the door open,” after which “the big guy, he came at me” and the rest of the group “started throwing objects that [were] in the house at me.”
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Teague added that “when they broke in, they got a lot of my equipment, and I approached them to put them under citizens arrest,” he noted to the station, adding that “I kept telling them, ‘I have a shotgun with three shells in it,’ but I actually only had one. And they kept throwing stuff at me.“
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That’s when the 93-year-old good guy with a gun decided to protect himself and his property and fired his shotgun once, hitting one of the intruders.
The Blaze report the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said the wounded intruder was in critical condition, the station said, adding that Teague was told by authorities that the intruder won’t survive — information that KNBC said it’s trying confirm.
The Central Homicide Unit was investigating Wednesday morning given the severity of the intruder’s condition, the station said.
‘They’ve been watching him’
Oscar Malma — who’s married to Teague’s granddaughter — explained to KNBC that Teague has been living with his daughter since his wife died a few months ago, so he hasn’t been at his home in the 24300 block of Eucalyptus Avenue as much.
“Recently he’s been having break-ins,” Malma told the station.
“It happened once on Friday; on [a] bright day they went to break in the house. And now this happened in the middle of the night? … They were looking for him. They’ve been watching him. They’ve been watching the house for a while.”
Malma added to KNBC that Teague has grown tired of the break-ins and police taking too long to respond.
“He was tired because every time he calls the police, [they take] forever to come and assist him,” Malma told KABC-TV. “He took the law into his own hands.” The station said authorities have not confirmed how many reported break-ins there have been at Teague’s home.
Malma added to KNBC that Teague is “an old retired plumber, and he has a lot of tools. … He was a musician as well, so he’s got a lot of … instruments,” Malma told the station. “And little by little they’ve been ripping him off.”
Teague taken in for questioning
Teague was taken in for questioning following the shooting, a process that took multiple hours to complete, KNBC said.
“I don’t blame Joe,” Malma told the station. “He’s been working all his life, he’s 93 years old … and whatever little things he has, he needs to protect them.”
It isn’t clear if any arrests have been made, KNBC said.
Malma told KABC he doesn’t believe his relative will be arrested because “he was defending his property. That happened inside his house. So I don’t think there’s any reason for him to be arrested.”
Wounded individual identified
The wounded individual was identified as 33-year-old Joseph A. Ortega of Moreno Valley, the sheriff’s office said as part of a press release titled, “Homeowner Justified in Shooting of an Intruder.” The release added that Teague was unharmed.
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