Homeowner shoots teen burglary suspects

10:33 AM, Sep 22, 2010   |    comments
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Davenport, Florida - "She was barking viciously," said Davenport resident Cheryl Santos about her watch dog midday Tuesday.

Bella's big bark alerted the Santos family that something was wrong, so when Santos took Bella into the backyard, "I saw a man laying on the ground, full of blood."

The trail of blood started inside Santos' next door neighbor's house.

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd says the husband and wife were sleeping in the home at the time when two intruders broke through the bedroom window.

Photo Gallery: Pictures from the crime scene

Deputies say the husband was able to grab his loaded gun near the bed and open fire, hitting one who was masked, once in the head. The other was hit in the torso.

Both are teenagers. 

Otilio Rubio, 15, is in critical condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.  The other injured teen, William Murphy, 16, was shot in the torso and is in stable condition.

Judd says the homeowner called 911 and responding Davenport police and Polk Sheriff's deputies took the injured suspects into custody and found two other suspects hiding behind a nearby fence.

Judd says the shot teens were taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The suspect with the head wound is in extremely critical condition after surgery and the other teen is in stable condition.

Judd says the Polk County State Attorney's Office is also investigating but, it makes no difference if you're armed or not if you break into someone's house violently, wearing a mask, the homeowner has the right to protect himself and their family. They don't have to take the time to determine whether or not you're armed, because that could be the second that could get them killed as well.

As far as the break-in goes, Santos says this is not the first for this neighborhood.

"It is getting to be something that's always happening around here," said Santos shaking her head.

In just the past six months, neighbors think thieves have been working their way up their street because there have been multiple break-ins before this one came to a bloody end.

A line of blood still stains the fence where deputies say the injured Murphy climbed over but deputies quickly caught up to him.

Crime scene technicians processed the back of the fence where deputies say two other teenagers were waiting for their friends.  Zachary Matthew,17, of Davenport and Austin Michael,15, of Davenport and Murphy, 16, are all charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling. 

A father himself, a nearby resident says he hopes the shooting sends a clear message to criminals.  "They will know if they come here, they will get shot and they will die," he said.

As for the Santos family, this break-in has not broken their spirit but they will beef up their security.

"I'm getting a firearm.  I have a big dog.  My husband says we can move but I love my home!" said Santos.

It turns out Otilio has a rap sheet dating back to when he was 10 years old with burglary, larceny and criminal mischief charges. 

While processing the home, detectives say they found illegal narcotics belonging to the homeowner and charged Jose Luis Oyola-Aponte, 37. 

At this point in the investigation, it is not clear if the teens were after the drugs or other property.

Do you have a gun in your home? Join a discussion on MomsLikeMe.com.

Kathryn Bursch and Erica Pitzi, 10 News Reporters

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