Crime

Intruders tried to get inside 2 homes. They were shot by people who lived there

Police investigate a shooting at a home at 14240 NW Second Ave. at which an intrude was shot by the homeowner.
Police investigate a shooting at a home at 14240 NW Second Ave. at which an intrude was shot by the homeowner. crabin@miamiherald.com

For the second day in a row, a South Florida resident stood his ground and shot someone trying to break into a home, police said. One man died. The other is clinging to life.

Early Tuesday morning, as a man was banging on the front door of a North Miami-Dade home, Warren Cespedes grabbed his gun, gave warning, then fired twice through the door, sources said.

A man who had driven up to the home at 14240 NW Second Ave. in a red car just before 5:30 a.m. was knocking heavily and the family believed he was trying to get inside. The noise awoke Cespedes, his wife Jessica Bustamante and their two sons, ages 5 and 9.

“They were sleeping at the time. I believe two shots were fired,” said family attorney Michael Grieco. “They did not recognize this guy. They both have concealed weapons permits.”

Police haven’t named the would-be intruder. They said the 22-year-old man is in critical condition after being taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“The subject arrived in a vehicle and began forcing his way into the residence when he was shot by the homeowner,” Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.

On Monday morning, three men broke into a Sunrise home at 4380 NW 103rd St. and were greeted by another resident with a gun. Before they were able to ransack the place, the resident, Warren Darlow, fired.

One man, Albert Jones, was shot dead, according to Sunrise police. The two others, Curtis Jefferies, and Jose Coleman, took off, but were soon arrested and charged with burglary and murder.

Neighbors of the North Miami-Dade family told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that in previous incidents someone had thrown a rock through a window of the house and tried to break in the back door.

Grieco, who is also a Miami Beach city commissioner, confirmed there had been a prior burglary and vandalism at the one-story ranch-style home that county property records show was bought in 2015.

Apparently, neighbors had been having problems in what seems like a sleepy residential neighborhood near North Miami Beach. The neighbor across from Cespedes’ home installed a large fence with an electronically controlled gate.

Other neighbors said there have been several break-in attempts in recent years. When neighbor George Mystery heard the news, he said he was proud of the family for defending themselves.

“I’m glad,” he told CBS4. “I would have done the same thing.”

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