PHOENIX – A potentially perilous situation was defused with guns on Friday night when a teenage boy shot a man allegedly trying to forcefully enter his family home near 75th Avenue and Camelback Road, as per police reports.
The suspect, identified as Juan Saavedra, 35, was attempting to gain access to the residence by breaking a window and banging on the door. However, Saavedra’s intentions were interrupted when he was confronted by an adult woman, believed to be the teen’s mother, and the teenager himself.
Police documentation and evidence at the scene confirmed that the teenager believed he was defending his home and family. The Phoenix Police Department responded to the incident at around 10 p.m. on Sept. 8, with officers finding Saavedra in front of the residence, wounded from gunshots to his abdomen and right arm.
But what led to such dramatic events?
According to court documents, the woman – likely the boy’s mother – noticed Saavedra’s movements in front of her home through her security camera. She tried to deter him by warning him to leave and waring that they would shoot him. Despite her attempts, Saavedra persisted. After hearing Saavedra’s aggressive attempt to enter through the carport door, she alerted her children to move to safety. When Saavedra managed to shatter the glass windowpane of the door and reach inside, the teenager, acting in apparent fear for his family’s safety, took a stand and shot the intruder.
The incident raised questions about Saavedra’s motivations. Upon questioning after being read his Miranda rights, Saavedra revealed that he had been consuming methamphetamine with a friend for about 48 hours before the incident. He was trying to find this friend in different residential yards. Although Saavedra acknowledged hearing the woman’s warnings to leave, his drug-induced state made him wrongly believe that it was his son inside the residence, even though he knew the property wasn’t his.
When police queried if he realized his actions might have terrified the occupants, Saavedra admitted, “Yeah, I mean, I was high, obviously.”
As a result of the events, Saavedra was hospitalized for his gunshot wounds but was later discharged into police custody. He now faces charges of 2nd Degree Burglary, a felony, along with one count of criminal trespass, burglary, and probation violation. His bond has been set at $50,000.
The unsettling episode has left the Phoenix neighborhood in shock. Neighbors reported hearing the gunshots, with some even taking cover. They expressed relief and understanding for the family’s response.
One neighbor stated, “I’m happy that they had something to defend themselves… we would have done the same thing, so I feel good for them.”
With this series of events, it highlights the necessity for residents to remain armed and dangerous and prioritize their safety.