Sandy Crider is overwhelmed with heartbreak and confusion as she tries to understand what she’s heard from police about her son Steven – that he was one of two young burglars shot to death on Sacramento’s Arcade Boulevard Sunday morning while breaking into a house.
“I’m never gonna forget this till the day I die, wondering how my son felt, the last breath he took, what he seen,” Crider said.
According to Crider, nothing about this sounds like her 16-year-old, the youngest of her eight kids.
Police, on the other hand, suggest Sunday morning may have been the third time Steven, and a 14-year-old friends have identified as Michael Sambrano, may have targeted the same house.
No one there wanted to talk about what happened, but police say the widowed homeowner had her purse, keys and jewelry stolen in an early morning break-in April 20.
Burglars trying to get in again on April 29 were spooked by something and took off after breaking a window around 1:45 in the morning.
The widow had her brother come to stay with her and he shot at the burglars who entered the home on Sunday.
“They got shot multiple times in the chest area,” Crider said, sharing what she was told by the coroner.
According to police, fingerprints lifted in the first heist match ones left in the last – something Crider found to be shocking.
While Steven Crider’s girlfriend has told FOX40 he was a homeless kid who fell through the cracks, family says he had a place to stay in his sister’s home while his mother was struggling financially.
“He wanted to go somewhere where he could be with his girlfriend,” Crider’s sister, Misty.
His mother would not allow his girlfriend to sleep over.
Relatives believe Steven lied about spending the night at his friend Michael’s house so he could could really spend time with his girlfriend – a teenage choice that’s led to some very adult consequences.
“Just wish he didn’t have to die. So young,” said Misty. “They didn’t have to kill him.”
Under California law you can use deadly force to defend yourself if you’re in fear of your life.