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A fatal shooting is under investigation in Desert Hot Springs, the incident started with an alleged break-in, before turning deadly. Police are calling this event unusual, and even though the homeowner is claiming self-defense as he called 9-1-1, he is not in the clear until the investigation is complete.
Officials describe what took place after reports of shots fired Wednesday night.
“The reporting party that had called 9-1-1 had indicated that there was an intruder in his house and that he had shot that intruder, and obviously asked for police to respond,” said Deputy Chief Steven Shaw with Desert Hot Springs Department.
Neighbors in the area describe what they heard.
“At first we thought it was fireworks, but then we thought about it more, we realized it was a gunshot, but it sounded like a big gun, and then about five minutes later you heard a swarm of police cars,” said Paris Valentino, Desert Hot Springs Resident.
Police are calling this an unusual incident as they have seen a decrease in property crime within the last two years.
“The officers arrived on scene and the reporting party was still in the house, so he was ordered outside of the house, he complied, he followed the commands of the officers at the scene. we weren’t sure exactly what was going on so he was taken into custody at that time,” explained Shaw.
Officers then proceeded inside the home, to find the intruder.
“An individual was located inside the house that had suffered from at least one gunshot wound. so officers checked on that person’s status and called in paramedics, but unfortunately, that person was pronounced dead at that location,” added Shaw.
We asked what happens in a case like this. Can a home-owner get in trouble for claiming self-defense and shooting someone on their property?
“Although folks can protect themselves at any time, but again just like police officers they have to follow the law and there are specific things that have to happen. a determination will be made whether it was a justified use of force by that person or if in fact criminal charges will be filed,” said Shaw.
California is mostly a stand your ground state, but only in certain circumstances. We are told that the Deputy District Attorney’s Office is looking into this case along with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
Again they are calling this case unusual and are waiting to determine if any criminal charges will be filed.