A downtown homeowner shot and wounded an intruder attempting to kick in his home’s doors early Wednesday, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Police received multiple calls about 4:15 a.m. of a disturbance in progress at two residences on the 900 block of West Pedregosa Street. On arrival, officers discovered that a 33-year-old man, whose name has been not released by police, had suffered a serious gunshot wound to his right leg, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.
The man was treated by paramedics at the scene and then taken into custody at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was taken for treatment.
Harwood said police arrested the man on suspicion of burglary, prowling and vandalism, and additional charges may be sought as the investigation continues.
The suspect reportedly began residing in the area recently, and allegedly had been seen and heard prowling in the neighborhood.
Harwood said the investigation is ongoing, and police have not yet released the exact location of the break-in, or the names of the victim and suspect.
The man first appeared on the property of one of the Pedregosa homes and a resident warned him to leave, Harwood said. The suspect made an obscene gesture to her and continued to the rear of the property, smashing through a gate, according to Harwood. That resident called 9-1-1 and described the subject as acting strangely, as if he were in some altered state of mind.
The suspect broke through the gate of a neighboring property and knocked on the front door of the residence. The homeowner, a 54-year-old man, went to the door and overhead the suspect utter something about money, then refused to open the door after telling the man to leave.
The suspect then began repeatedly and forcefully kicking the front door of the residence before walking around to the rear of the property. The homeowner’s wife and adult son were also at home and called 9-1-1 out of concern for their safety, Harwood said.
The homeowner armed himself with an M-1 carbine rifle that he owned, and went to the rear of his home where he thought the suspect might try to enter. The suspect began kicking through a set of glass French doors.
The homeowner yelled at the intruder to leave, and the suspect said he was suicidal and continued to attempt to break the doors, Harwood said. The suspect picked up a lantern from the patio and struck the doors with it, breaking some of the glass into the residence.
The homeowner fired a warning shot, Harwood said, but when the man continued to try to gain entry, he fired a second round, which struck the intruder.
Law enforcement arrived at the scene, and medical aid was administered to the intruder. He is under 24-hour watch by officers until he is released from the hospital and then will be booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, Harwood said.
Check back with Noozhawk for more details as they become available.