93-year-old man shoots dead burglar in Los Angeles: police

This sober ninety-year-old thwarted their plans.

A 93-year-old retired plumber has turned the tables on a group of would-be burglars – shooting one of them and scaring the rest after they broke into his Los Angeles home, authorities said.

The elderly homeowner, Joe Howard Teague, called 911 just after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to say he confronted several intruders and held them at gunpoint, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

“I approached her to place her under civil arrest,” Teague told ABC 11 News outside his home on Thursday.

“They didn’t comply and then one of them came towards me with a fishing pole.”

Teague said the suspects who kicked his door open began throwing objects at him when he pointed his gun in their direction.

“It was like someone coming to a gunfight with a pocket knife, you know,” Teague said.

Joe Howard Teague's house
The elderly homeowner said the suspects began throwing objects at him inside his home when he pointed his gun at them.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they found a suspect — 33-year-old Joseph Ortega — suffering from a gunshot wound in the home.

Witnesses said they saw his suspected accomplices flee the house on foot before authorities arrived.

“Investigators have determined that several people, including Ortega, were on Teague’s property when the shooting occurred,” the sheriff’s office said.

The homeowner, who was not injured during the ordeal, was questioned by police and later allowed to return home.

The police cordon off the crime scene
The suspect shot by Teague was found inside when authorities arrived, while witnesses said they saw the others flee on foot.

The sheriff’s office said the initial investigation indicated Teague was “justified” in the shooting, but the investigation was ongoing.

A man whose wife is related to Teague said the elderly homeowner was the victim of multiple burglaries recently.

“He was tired because every time he called the police, it took forever for the police to come and help him,” Oscar Malma said.

“He defended his property. This happened at his house. So I don’t think there would be any reason for his arrest.”

Ortega, the injured suspect, was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said. 93-year-old man shoots dead burglar in Los Angeles: police


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