A group of suspects were in for a nasty surprise when they reportedly tried to break into a Southern California family's house and were met with an armed resident.
The incident occurred on May 1 in Chino Hill, California, reports KTLA. Police arrested 20-year-old Joaquin Leonardo Salmon Garcia, 19-year-old Ruben Medivil, 19-year-old Garrett Rogers, 18-year-old Roberts Alonso Salmon and an unnamed 17-year-old on charges of attempted burglary.
According to a San Bernardino Sheriff's Department press release, the five individuals hopped into Yan Zhang's back yard and climbed onto his balcony, attempting to break into his home through an upstairs door.
Zhang's wife and children were also in the home, so he decided to act quickly and grabbed his firearm, meeting the would-be burglars with an unexpected scare.
"They were home and then several kids kind of tried to pry the door open, tried to get in," Tony Tran, a neighbor, told KTLA. "[Zhang] got a gun so he fired a warning shot."
Two of the suspects escaped, although neighbors quickly helped officers find them.
A neighbor called 911, while Zhang's wife kept their children out of harm's way. The father reportedly managed to keep the rest of them lying on the ground, holding them at gunpoint until police arrived, according to photos of the ordeal posted to Chinese social media.
The Zhang family does not speak much English, but neighbors, one of whom even lauded the protective father as a hero, were more than happy to speak to reporters.
"If that's what he felt he needed to do, that's what he needed to do," Lapedtra Singleton, who lives on the cul-de-sac, told KCAL. "Because you don't know. You walk in and someone's in your house. You don't know if they're going to kill you."
The Zhang home has bars on their windows. Neighbors described the residence as the Fort Knox of the area and wondered why anybody would have picked that house out of all of them.
The neighborhood has reportedly been plagued with break-in attempts.
In April, two people attempted to break into a nearby home by smashing a window, but they left quickly. That homeowner, identified only as "Paris," covered the broken window with a sign that read: "You might make it in ... You won't make it out!"
"I got family," Paris explained. "I got kids. I got a house here. I don't have time to mess around with these fools. If they want to come back around here and come in, I'm ready for them. Anybody that wants to come into this house uninvited is not welcome."