LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A burglary suspect was shot and killed by a resident of the home he was trying to break into early Sunday morning, according to Long Beach police.
Officers responded to the 2800 block of East Third Street at 2:24 a.m., arriving with paramedics who pronounced the suspect dead, police said.
When CBS2’s Greg Mills visited the street on Sunday afternoon, he found a handful of concerned neighbors.
“I’m scared, because I live with my son. He’s petrified,” said Dina Milonas, who lives next door to the home where the attempted burglary took place, at Third Street and Gladys Avenue.
Milonas described the series of gunshots and what she heard next.
“I heard three shots, which I thought were firecrackers, but they were shots,” she said. “Then I heard the homeowner next door to me scream, ‘Help me, help me.'”
Milonas said a married couple, who have no children, have lived in the home for about 10 years.
Another neighbor, Alan Quach, said police were quickly on the scene.
Milonas said police told her it was an attempted home invasion. While police will only say one of the residents killed the suspect, neighbors believe the shooter was the husband, who they say was visibly shaken as police investigated.
“And I know the neighbor because I’m two houses from there,” said Quach. “He’s a really nice guy.”
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen picked up the story Sunday evening.
At the home where the shooting took place, he reported only the porch light was on.
Nguyen also attended a meeting between community members and police — who hoped to calm some nervous neighbors. The community has been beset, they said, by a rash of recent break-ins.
“We call these front lawn meetings,” said Long Beach Police Officer Paul LeBaron.
He added, “The homeowner let us know that he confronted a burglar inside his residence. And that the burglar had been shot by the homeowner.”
The Coroner’s Office has identified the dead suspect as 29-year old Ryan Anderson of Long Beach.
Many residents wanted to know if Anderson might have been responsible for some of the other burglaries.
At this point, reported Nguyen, police believe this was an isolated incident.
Members of this community say isolated — or not — tonight’s meeting is a good reminder for neighbors to watch out for one another.
“It gave me the peace of mind that the forces are working to help us. But the neighbors need to get more involved,” said Milonas.
Late Sunday, Anderson’s friends gathered to mourn their friend who they said was a nice guy and an unlikely burglar.
They gave Nguyen a picture of Anderson saying they were out celebrating a friend’s birthday yesterday evening before they all parted ways.
“He was just loved by everybody,” said Amanda Farfall, “He was an all around really nice guy. It’s so hard to explain but this is heartfelt. He was a really, really good guy.”
Anderson lived on the same street where the shooting took place — but four blocks away. Friends believe he went to the wrong house by mistake and possibly stumbled inside by accident.
Police are not saying how Anderson gained access to the home or whether he was armed.
It will be up to the DA’s office to determine whether the shooting was justified, Nguyen reported.