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Homeowner kills home invader in self-defense

Originally published here as:
Waukegan shooting ruled self-defense
By Tony Gordon Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer
Posted on April 10, 2001

Authorities said a Waukegan man was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed a member of a group beating him early Sunday morning.

But Jason Sanchez, 20, will face a misdemeanor charge because he did not have a Firearms Owner's Identification card for the pistol he used, police said Monday.

The man who was shot, Esteban Gomez, 19, of Waukegan, died of a single gunshot wound to the heart about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, said Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Michael Mermel.

Police said Gomez was one of a group of up to 15 people who barged into a house in the 400 block of Cummings Street and confronted Sanchez, a visitor to the house.

"We are confident that the Waukegan police conducted a thorough investigation and the witness statements corroborate Mr. Sanchez's version of events," Mermel said. "People on both sides of what went on inside that house told essentially the same story."

The group, all men believed to be members of the same street gang, knocked on the door of the house and asked to speak to the owner, police said. Told the owner was out of town, the men went in and asked if Sanchez was there, police said.

One of the intruders punched Sanchez in the face and then between five and six of them began hitting and kicking him as he fell to the floor, police said.

Sanchez pulled a .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol out of his pocket and fired once into the group standing over him, police said.

The bullet hit Gomez, who ran from the house, police said. A few seconds later, a shot from a .40 caliber gun was fired through the front door of the house.

Police found Gomez lying in an alley not far from the house where Sanchez was attacked. He was taken to St. Therese Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Sanchez was charged with the misdemeanor after six people at the house, including four with the group of attackers, confirmed his story, police said. Sanchez was released from custody with an order to appear in court on May 18. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

Police said they were not sure why the group attacked Sanchez.

Sanchez faces up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted of the weapons charge. It is possible other participants in the fray could also face charges, Mermel said.

KABA NOTE:  15 people burst into HIS home, and he's going to be charged for defending HIS life.  How long are people going to take this nonsense?

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