Mother sues man who shot her son for trying to break into his truck

EL CAJON, Calif. -- The grieving mother of an accused thief who was shot and killed by a homeowner has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

This all stems from an early morning  March 11 incident in El Cajon, when homeowner Michael Poe woke up and found Joseph Mercurio breaking into his truck.

Poe shot and killed Mercurio. Now the mother of the accused thief, Monika Anderson, is suing him for her son’s death.

Attorney Dan Gilleon filed a lawsuit on behalf of Anderson. “He was a son, he was a brother, he was a father, and he was a husband and he had drug issues. He had problems but none of that justifies being shot. And breaking into someone’s car does not justify a shooting,” Gilleon said.

Poe told police there was an exchange between the men before he shot the 31-year-old, who died minutes later from the gunshot wound and crashed his getaway car fleeing the scene.

“Some people think as soon as someone steps into your house and they don’t have your consent to be there, that you can just shoot and kill them and that’s not the law,” said Gilleon.

Gilleon said this is an important case that clarifies the laws regarding homeowners and protecting their property.

Police are investigating the incident and no criminal charges have been filed as of yet.

“Only thing he should’ve done, was picked up the phone and called the police,” said Gilleon. “That’s the way our society says we handle things like this. We don't get to use guns and kill people for this.”

FOX 5 tried to contact the homeowner, but he was unavailable for comment.

The San Diego District Attorney's office says the case is currently under review.