A homeowner who shot an intruder early Wednesday morning in Moreno Valley is unlikely to face criminal charges after the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department determined he was justified in shooting the alleged suspect.
The Sheriff’s Department received a call about a burglary in progress happening at a home on the 24300 block of Eucalyptus Avenue just before 12:30 a.m.
The 93-year-old homeowner told dispatch that he had several home invaders held at gunpoint while he waited for law enforcement to arrive.
When deputies arrived, they found one man who had been shot by the homeowner. The intruder was taken to the hospital with severe injuries that were considered to be life-threatening.
The home intruder has been identified as Joseph A. Ortega, 33, of Moreno Valley. Ortega is currently hospitalized in critical condition, the Sheriff’s Department said.
A witness at the scene told investigators that they saw several people running away from the scene after the shooting happened.
The homeowner was uninjured and was questioned by detectives as part of the ongoing investigation.
Detectives believe multiple people, including Ortega, had broken into the elderly man’s home when the shooting happened.
The Sheriff’s Department later said in a press release that the homeowner was “justified” in shooting the intruder.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information related to the incident is urged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department homicide unit at 951-955-2777. You can also submit an anonymous tip online.