The families of two teenagers who were shot breaking into a Sacramento house are saying that the homeowner should not have fired shots at the intruders.
14-year-old Michael Sambrano and his 17-year-old accomplice Steven Crider broke into the home of an elderly widow on Sunday morning. Both teens were killed by either the widow or her brother, who was staying with her because she had recently been the victim of another break-in.
“They were on their way out the door, and I just think it was wrong that they were shot,” Christina Sambrano, Michael Sambrano’s sister, told CBS Sacramento.
“I just don’t understand why they were shot multiple times and killed,” said Lisa Sambrano.
But neighbors on the block where the break-in occurred say the homeowners were justified.
“Justice was served,” said Robert Robinson, a neighborhood resident whose home was been burgled twice before.
Another neighbor agreed that protecting one’s home and family is first priority.
“He was not an innocent bystander,” said neighbor David Keck. “I’m sorry the little boys or teenagers were killed, but if it’s my family, my family comes first.”
The elderly homeowner said she had been robbed several times before, and was scared enough to ask her brother to stay with her afterwards.
“This Easter, she was robbed, and so she had replaced her deadbolt locks with double locking deadbolts and they still got in after that,” Celeste Gawehn, a friend and neighbor, told Fox News.
According to police, fingerprints from the scene matched those from the Easter break-in.
The widow, 68-year-old Alice Hubbard Gordinho, said that the boys had “tormented” her.
“I don't have any comments to make on this. It's been a tragedy," she told News10. "I'm sorry for the boys and I'm sorry for me, because they tormented me."
According to California law, a homeowner can use deadly force when someone forcibly enters their home and they have a reasonable fear of “imminent peril of death, or great bodily injury.”