YUCAIPA (CBSLA) — Police in Yucaipa are investigating whether a 16-year-old gunshot victim might be a robbery suspect.
The 16-year-old was dropped off behind a 7-Eleven with a gunshot wound to the stomach on Saturday.
Police said the teen was dropped at the location by a man and a woman who then took off in a Ford Mustang.
KCAL9’s Tina Patel spoke to Tiffany Preuschoff who lives about a mile away. She said the three people in question fit the descriptions of a trio who had broken into her home a week prior.
“My husband came home from work, he’d been there at 12 and came home at 4:30, and he noticed our back sliding door had been smashed through,” Preuschoff said.
Her neighbors got surveillance video of the three knocking on her door and then jumping a fence into her backyard.
Police now believe that 16-year-old made a home invasion attempt on a neighboring street and was shot by that homeowner as he tried to enter through a back window.
In my head, it’s like 99 percent probability that these are related incidents.” Preuschoff said, “the car is different, it was not the Mustang that we saw in front of our house. but it’s a block away. very similar.”
Preuschoff said she does not know the 69-year-old neighbor who fired on the burglary suspects but understands why he did it.
“If it was the right of the property owner to do that, then I’m sorry, but you broke in,” she says.
Police said when the homeowner reported the burglary he neglected to say he opened fire. It is possible the DA could file criminal charges against him.
Preuschoff does not want to second-guess her neighbor.
“I’m not a gun owner,” she says, “I don’t really know the gun laws and whether you needed to report them. I’m sure with all the outrage, he probably should have said something.”
But what she really wants is for the other suspects involved to be caught.
“And hopefully,” she said, “that 16-year-old will rat out his friends. It’s sad.”
No arrests have been made.
The 16-year-old, who lives in Desert Hot Springs, remains in the hospital in stable condition.