A Lancaster man shot and killed a burglar in defense of himself and his family during a home break-in early Sunday, officials said.
The burglary and shooting took place shortly before 6:45 a.m. at a house in the 45100 block of Loma Vista Drive, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
A man, his wife and their children were at home when they were startled by “loud banging noises,” sheriff’s officials said.
“The (intruder) then entered the upstairs bedroom, where, fearing for his safety and the safety of his children, the resident armed himself with a handgun and fired one shot, striking the suspect,” Navarro-Suarez said in a written statement.
When the intruder made his way into the bedroom where the family was hiding, “They were actually on the phone with the Sheriff’s Department reporting someone was breaking into the house,” Sgt. Richard Biddle of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The wounded man, who suffered a gunshot wound to the upper torso, was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. His identity was not yet available.
None of the residents were hurt during the incident, according to Navarro-Suarez.
It appeared the intruder broke into the home through a rear, first-floor window, she added.
Authorities initially described the intruder as a black man but sheriff’s officials later said he was white.
Neighbors told KTLA a slender, red-haired white man could be seen peering in windows and trying to open doors just before the incident.
“He just casually walked up to the door, attempted to turn the knob. It didn’t work,” said a female neighbor, adding that the man also tried opening a window but couldn’t.
The neighbor shared home surveillance footage showing the man apparently trying to open the door and then a window.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.