VALLEY SPRINGS (CBS13) — Detectives are investigating after an intruder was shot and killed after he broke into a Valley Springs home and started attacking people inside.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office says Sunday’s deadly incident appears to stem from the suspect, 28-year-old Lennin Elizalde, wrongfully believing that he owned the home.
Deputies say the rightful homeowners had brought the 7000 block of Gabor Street property from a real estate company recently. However, during the moving process, the owners came home one day and found that someone had broken in through a side door – and Elizalde was inside.
Elizalde was the son of the previous owner of the home. He was ordered to leave after the new owners found him inside, but he refused until 911 was called.
The new owners say Elizalde threatened to return. Deputies later found and arrested Elizalde, who didn’t deny that he went into the home but claimed someone else had broken the door.
A deputy says Elizalde also told him that he believed he still owned the home and he intended to come back. This statement prompted the deputy to ask for a bail enhancement that would keep him in custody, but the sheriff’s office says the judge denied that enhancement.
Elizalde was soon released from custody on Saturday evening.
Early Sunday morning, deputies say Elizalde returned to the home. Witnesses say Elizalde kicked in the door and started attacking someone who was sleeping in the living room. During the chaos, deputies say one of the rightful occupants then shot Elizalde in self-defense.
Elizalde was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. The sheriff’s office says the home was vacant when it was legally by the new owners, with Elizalde not having any personal items inside or any other legal reason to return.