Late Friday night, a teenager bravely stepped up to defend his family when a home intruder threatened their safety. The incident highlighted a series of events that has left the community shaken. Nevertheless, thanks to the potential victim being a responsible gun owner, they managed to come out of the altercation unscathed.
The situation reportedly began when Juan Saavedra, a 36-year-old transient, tried to forcibly enter the home.
Court documents state that Phoenix Police officers responded to a residential neighborhood near 75th Avenue and Camelback Road for a burglary in progress call at around 10:05 p.m.
When officers arrived at around 10:13 p.m., they contacted a man in front of a home, later identified as Saavedra.
“As officers approached this male, they observed him to be suffering from apparent gun shot wounds to his abdomen and right arm,” read a portion of the court documents.
Eventually, officers made contact with an alleged victim, who told officers she had received a motion notification on her security system, and then saw Saavedra on her security camera walking around the front of her home.
“The victim stated she exited her residence and gave the defendant several commands to leave the area or he was at risk of being shot, in an attempt to scare him away from the residences front yard area,” read a portion of the court documents. “The victim stated she then ran back inside of her residence, instructing one of her children to close and lock the door behind her. The victim stated as she entered her residence, she began calling police and went to retrieve a firearm in order to protect herself, her husband and five children located inside.”
The alleged victim, according to police, later heard Saavedra bang on a carport door. After she told her children to move away from the area and hide as far away as possible, she heard the glass windowpane of the carport door shatter, and Saavedra’s hand reaching inside.
“The victim stated as she stood with the firearm, she observed the defendants hand came through the now open and broken window, and reached for the doors doorknob in an attempt to open the door,’ read a portion of the statement. The victim stated at this point her 13-year-old son, seeing that the defendant was attempting to make entry and his mother was not firing the firearm, in fear for the safety of himself and family, took the firearm from his mother and fired the firearm towards the defendant, striking him.
Saavedra, according to investigators, was later taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and was eventually released into police custody.
The intruder’s history shows prior arrests and convictions, but the specifics of his criminal history have not yet been revealed to the public.
Saavedra’s behavior was attributed to having smoked methamphetamine for two consecutive days before he tried to break into the home. He had been wandering around the neighborhood looking for one of his friends. He claimed that in his drug-induced haze, he was trying to access his son’s residence, according to court documents. He is now facing charges of second-degree burglary, and the court issued a cash-only bond of $50,000.
Members of the community were shaken by the incident but expressed gratitude that none of the potential victims were harmed. “I’m happy that they had something to defend themselves,” one of the neighbors told reporters. “I would have done the same thing, so I feel good for them.”
This story is one of many sobering reminders about the importance of responsible gun ownership. Threats often materialize unexpectedly, and it is important to always be prepared.