MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – A 93-year-old homeowner in Southern California shot and critically wounded a home intruder Wednesday after suffering multiple burglaries in the past. The elderly burglary victim reported the break-in and subsequent shooting at 12:29 a.m. on Wednesday in Moreno Valley, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
“As deputies were responding, the victim, identified as Joe Howard Teague, a 93-year-old resident of Moreno Valley, told dispatch he had several subjects at gunpoint,” the sheriff’s department said. “When deputies arrived, they located a male suspect, identified as Joseph A. Ortega, a 33-year-old resident of Moreno Valley, suffering from a gunshot wound. Medical aid was immediately rendered and Ortega was transported to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.”
Ortega was not committing the crime by himself, according to law enforcement authorities.
“As the investigation progressed, a witness was located within close to the scene, who saw several people flee on foot just prior to the arrival of deputies,” they said.
The case is being handled by RSD’s Central Homicide Unit.
“Investigators have established that several individuals, including Ortega, were inside Teague’s property when a shooting occurred. Teague was unharmed during the incident. He was questioned at the Moreno Valley Station and later returned home. The investigation is on-going,” the sheriff’s department said.
Following the traumatic ordeal, Teague spoke to KNBC-TV – Los Angeles.
“The fact is, when they broke in they got a lot of my equipment and I approached them to put them under citizens arrest,” he said.
“I kept telling them, I have a shotgun with three shells in it, but I actually only had one. And they kept throwing stuff at me,” Teague said.
One suspect used a fishing pole to attack the victim, Post Millennial reported.
When the suspects refused to stop attacking the elderly homeowner, he fired, striking Ortega, who remains in critical condition, according to RSD.
“It was just like somebody comes to a gunfight with a pocketknife,” he said of the pole-wielding intruder.
“They parked at the curb, and then they went back, kicked the door open, and they went in,” Teague told ABC News, adding that there were “ladies and men.”
Teague’s grandson-in-law Oscar Malma told KNBC that Teague’s residence had been burglarized several times in the past.
“It happened once on Friday, Friday they went to break in the house. And now this happened in the middle of the night. They were looking for him,” Malma said.
According to Malma, after Teague lost his wife, he moved in with his daughter. As a result, he was not at his house often, the Western Journal reported.
“He’s an old retired plumber and he has a lot of tools. He was a musician as well, so he has a lot of musical instruments. Little by little they’ve been ripping him off,” Malma said.
“I don’t blame Joe. He’s been working all his life, he’s 93. He’s been working all his life and whatever little things he has, he needs to protect them,” he added.