An elderly California homeowner shot and critically wounded at least one intruder after a group of trespassers entered his Moreno Valley home and attacked him Wednesday night.
Joe Teague, 93, said he was in his home when a group of “ladies and men …kicked the door open” just after midnight, according to KNBC. The “big guy” attacked him, Teague said, and the other intruders “started throwing objects that [were] in the house at me.”
“The fact is, when they broke in they got a lot of my equipment and I approached them to put them under citizens arrest,” he said.
Teague said he warned the home itruders that he was armed with a shotgun.
“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,” Teague said.
Teague eventually fired his shotgun a single time, striking one of the intruders.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said one intruder was in critical condition after the attack, and the Central Homicide Unit launched an investigation into the incident due to the severity of the trespasser’s condition.
Oscar Malma, Teague’s grandson-in-law, told the outlet that Teague’s home has been targeted with multiple break-ins in recent months. Since his wife passed away earlier this year, Teague has been living with his daughter, so he hasn’t been home that often.
“Recently he’s been having break-ins,” Malma told KNBC. “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 said Teague was frustrated with the break-ins and the slow police response.
“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.”
“[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 continued. “And little by little they’ve been ripping him off.”
Malma said he doesn’t blame Teague for defending his property.
“He’s been working all his life, he’s 93 years old … and whatever little things he has, he needs to protect them,” Malma said.
It is unclear if police have made any arrests in connection with the incident, but Malma asserted his grandfather-in-law did nothing wrong.
“He was defending his property. That happened inside his house. So I don’t think there’s any reason for him to be arrested,” Malma added.