NORTHGLENN, Colo. -- A Northglenn man tried to do the right thing by helping his neighbor when criminals attempted to break into his car early Wednesday morning.
But it suddenly went wrong when one of the suspects started shooting at him. They probably didn’t expect their victim to do the same.
It happened in the 1500 block of Dean Drive about 12:45 a.m., the Northglenn Police Department said.
Bullet holes served as frightening reminders for the young family man who confronted three criminals trying to break into his neighbor’s SUV. Two bullets ended up inside the home where his children slept.
“I kept hearing gun rounds,” said a neighbor who didn’t want to be identified.
He heard the gunshots, but what he didn’t know is the rounds didn’t just come from the suspects. The victim said he fired back when they started shooting at him with a laser-sighted pistol.
“It’s concerning to think about shots going in both directions. But I can understand a man wanting to defend himself and his family,” neighbor Jim Urland said.
He and his family said the danger strikes too close to home.
“We have two grandchildren who live with us and several who visit. It's always concerning,” Urland’s wife, Diana, said.
Neighbor Cesar Borunda also worries about careless criminals turning his three kids into collateral damage.
“If one of the bullets comes through our windows and hits one of my kids or one of us and, it’s not right,” he said.
It’s also made some neighbors leery of protecting their property.
“I would like to confront them. But again, if they are armed, it’s a whole different story,” the unidentified neighbor said.
Others said the crime has emboldened them.
“If I came out the door, and someone was breaking into my car, I would probably exchange words with people. But if they shot at me, I certainly would probably fire back,” Urland said.
But police recommend people stay inside their home, call 911 and leave the danger to them.
Two other people reported criminal trespasses in the neighborhood Wednesday morning. Police can’t say if they are connected to these suspects.
The number of criminal trespasses into cars is trending upward in Northglenn, from an average of 21 per month in 2015 to 26 per month in 2016.
The victim said it was so dark out and the men were wearing dark clothing that he didn’t get a good look at them.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 303-450-8856.