Chaos unfolds when teen confronts armed intruder

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by Sybil Hoffman

azfamily.com

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 10:40 PM

PHOENIX -- There are new details regarding the Valley teen who opened fire on an armed burglar. 3TV has obtained police documents that chronicle the chaos that unfolded in a matter of minutes when the teen came face to face with the armed intruder.

Black footprints are one of the many remnants left behind following the violent crime that took place inside 5544 W. Minton Ave.

When retired police Officer Bill Louis reviewed the probable cause statement, he said, "We're talking about a dangerous guy here."

The guy Louis is referring to is Richard Fiore.

He's a convicted felon who admitted to police he drove around this neighborhood on June 22 looking for a home to burglarize in hopes of stealing gold.

But what he didn't expect to find was a 14-year-old and his three younger siblings home alone inside.

"This kid made certain decisions on how he was going to handle the situation and as it turns probably pretty good for him and his siblings," Louis explained.

According to documents obtained by 3TV, the teen saw Fiore prepare to kick down the door. So he got his siblings upstairs, told them to hide, and then retrieved his father's handgun.

"That 14-year-old kid was able to function, to think things through, and was able to do what he did, that was pretty amazing to me," Louis said.

Fiore admitted once the door was kicked in, he ran upstairs and saw the four kids.

"When he saw the kids in the house, he actually pointed the gun at the one kid," Louis said.

Fiore told police he planned to shoot the teen. But when he realized he was a child, he changed his mind and ran off. That's when the teen opened fire.

"He actually hit him when he fired the single shot, he actually hit the guy and the guy went down," Louis said.

Keeping the gun pointed on Fiore, the teen called his dad.

"You can only imagine what's going through the father's mind," Louis said. "He gets home, comes through the front door, remember the door had been kicked in. The father runs up the stairs, takes the gun away from the kid, and the kid at that point says, 'Dad, looks like he's going for the gun, he's still moving.'"

For 30 years, Louis has handled countless investigations. After reviewing this one, Louis believes the shooting was justified because, "If he believes the guy is still going for the gun at that point he would be justified in shooting the guy again."

While no one got seriously hurt, Louis recommends not taking on criminals, instead, call 911.

"You can be good with a gun, but the decision-making on to shoot or not to shoot takes training and experience and most people just don't have that," Louis said.

Fiore survived the shooting. Police say the family and Fiore did not know each other. As for possible charges, Phoenix police say they're still in the middle of their investigation.

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