Man shoots and kills apparent car burglar

EL CAJON -- A homeowner shot and killed a man who was allegedly breaking into his parked truck on an El Cajon street on Sunday.

The incident took place shortly after 1 a.m. in the 1100 block of Mona Place, according to Lt. Walt Miller, of the El Cajon Police Department's Investigations Division.

The unidentified homeowner told police that he heard his dogs barking, looked outside and saw a man breaking into his vehicle parked in front of his house.

Armed with a handgun, the man went outside to confront the suspect, Miller said.

Some type of confrontation took place and the victim shot at the suspect multiple times, hitting him at least once, Miller said.

The 32-year-old suspect fled the scene in his own vehicle, but drove into the front yard of a house in the 1000 block of West Chase Avenue, Miller said.

Paramedics and officers pronounced the suspect dead at the scene, Miller said.

It is unclear if the homeowner will face any charges, as the incident is still under investigation, police Lt. Eric Taylor said.

Neighbors say they don't believe the homeowner acted unlawfully.

“We have the right to protect our own,” said neighbor Sharon Badger. "We have a right to protect our family."

Miller said the homeowner was cooperating with police. His name was not released.

The dead man's name was also unavailable, pending family notification by the San Diego Medical Examiner's office.

The incident was on a residential street just off Chase Avenue, near El Cajon Boulevard.

Residents are shaken by what happened.

"I've never in real life been anywhere near a gunshot and that to happen on the street is very alarming," said resident Mariana Ritchie. "And my brother was saying this morning like maybe we should get a gun, I mean what if someone tries to break into our house?"