Thomas Manzano and his buddy had been out drinking for several hours when they decided to crash at what they thought was the vacant apartment where Thomas’s friend had been squatting. Thomas banged on the front door when he couldn’t get in, and the tenant who lived there opened the door. It was 3 o’clock in the morning. The resident turned Manzano away, and Manzano threatened the man before he closed the door on him. Obviously, it wasn’t the apartment they thought it was. I guess at that point in their intoxication, they were very easily confused, to say the least.
But Manzano didn’t give up. He decided to break in the apartment through a bedroom window where the resident’s adult son was staying. Manzano threatened and started to attack the man’s son, and when the resident heard the commotion from another room, he grabbed his gun and hurried over to his son’s bedroom and put 3 rounds in the drunk man. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Manzano’s family is upset, saying that he was only confused and just made a mistake. He didn’t deserve to die. Besides, he wasn’t even armed, so it wasn’t fair. The drunk man’s Uncle Alfonso remarked, “Just because you have a gun and its registered, doesn’t give you the right to kill somebody.”
The police are investigating this case as a homicide. Granted, homicide is a broad term that refers to the killing of another person, whether justified or not. But the district attorney will be deciding whether the resident’s shooting and killing of the intruder was justified. NBC Los Angeles reported:
“According to California law, citizens have a right to protect themselves and their families, but there are conditions. ‘The homeowner, the citizen, has to be able to articulate or apply the appropriate amount of force that was done against them,’ Ontario [California] Police Sgt. David McBride said. Police said Manzano was unarmed at the time of the shooting.”
I don’t really know what that police sergeant meant, but I think he means that in this case, the apartment resident may have taken it too far, because the intruder wasn’t armed. So, shooting and killing the man was not the “appropriate amount of force” considering the minimal threat that Manzano posed.
But there’s no way the resident could have known that Manzano posed little threat to them. He even gave the man a chance to go away. And Manzano decided to break and enter and then threaten and attack the man’s son. When you do that, I don’t care how inebriated or “confused” you are, expect to be shot at. Expect to die.
The gun-owner did the right thing. And let’s hope the district attorney and prosecutor do the right thing and refuse to press any charge against the man for defending himself and his son.