San Jose police are investigating a fatal shooting Thursday that the shooter said was prompted because a suspect was trying to break into his house.
Nevertheless, until the investigation is complete, Police Officer Albert Morales said Friday that detectives are treating the death as a homicide. Prosecutors weigh whether a homicide is considered "justified" if they feel there is a reasonable excuse for the killing, such as self defense. In such cases, the shooter would not be charged with a crime.
"He said somebody had attempted to break into his home, and at some point he saw some shadows or silhouettes of a person," Morales said. "He armed himself with a firearm that belonged to him and returned fire in the direction of where this subject was, in defense."
Police received reports just before 8 p.m. of shots fired on the 3500 block of Pine Ridge Way in East San Jose. When officers arrived on scene they contacted the reporting party - who neighbors said is a Marine veteran - who told police a person attempted to break into his home.
Police did note that gunfire did take place. There is evidence at the home that seemingly shows bullet casings, Morales said.
"Two subjects got into a vehicle and fled the scene at a high rate of speed," police said in a press release.
Officers later learned a man was dropped off at a local hospital suffering from at least one gunshot wound. The man was pronounced deceased at the hospital, police said.
Authorities are not releasing his identity pending notification to next of kin.
An investigation is ongoing.