Drivers Stumbles Onto Property and Into Garden, Provokes Gun Battle With Owner
CHINO VALLEY, AZ — In one of the more bizarre instances of having to defend oneself at the homestead, a homeowner and his friend were forced to fire on a stranger after the stranger shot at them — while stuck in his car in the homeowner’s garden.
It ended up alright for the good guys, but it was a near thing.
As ABC 15 reports:
Authorities say deputies responded to a “shots fired” call at a home near Yuma Drive and Road 3 around 8:45 p.m. Saturday night. When deputies got on scene, they found a 59-year-old man inside a pickup truck parked on the property who had been shot.
Emergency responders later arrived and confirmed the man had died, officials say. Investigators interviewed two men and other witnesses for several hours and collected evidence Sunday morning after a warrant was served.
Based on the evidence and statements given, investigators believe the man in the truck drove onto the property unannounced and became stuck in the garden. When a 48-year-old man who lives at the residence and another 48-year-old man visiting approached to check on the driver, the driver fired at least one shot. Both men were armed, deputies say, and fired back at the driver, killing him.
YCSO does not believe the people involved in the shooting knew each other. Officials say self-defense is a factor in the ongoing investigation and no arrests have been made.
The identity of the driver has yet to be released.
It’s pretty clear to me that the man driving the vehicle was intoxicated to some extent to have driven and gotten stuck in a random man’s garden — even if the man had malevolent intent, the odds he actually intended to vandalize the garden are incredibly low.
It may well have been wise to call the authorities before approaching the vehicle, but I can certainly understand the concern — a vehicle gets stuck, and you have no idea what this stranger who has thrust themselves into your life are.
It’s scary — and conversely, the odds of the guy just needing a tow or some first aid are much higher than the odds of a deadly shooting.
It’s a shame a life was lost here, but the homeowner and his friend did the right thing.
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