Homeowner shoots at suspects during burglary attempt

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Mark Anthony Flores (left) and Juan Avalos Jr. By Jennifer Thomas Mark Anthony Flores (left) and Juan Avalos Jr. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- It was a scary start to the day for one west Phoenix homeowner Monday morning as alleged burglars tried to break down his front door with a crow bar.

"The homeowner was inside," said Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump. "He heard the commotion at the front door ... could actually see the door bowing-in."

The frightened homeowner, according to Crump, then armed himself with a shotgun.

"He confronted the suspects as they were at the front door," Crump continued, "and he told us he fired."

The suspects then fled but not before someone spotted their vehicle and a short time later the car was pulled over by a Phoenix police officer at a Circle K at 75th and Glendale avenues.

Police said two men and a woman were in the vehicle.

"They have admitted their involvement," Crump said. "One of those individuals, an adult male, had a minor injury to his leg probably from the birdshot fired by the homeowner."

The two male suspects, Mark Anthony Flores, 28, and Juan Avalos Jr., 31, were arrested and charged with residential burglary and possession of burglary tools.  

After reviewing the incident, Phoenix police said they are not asking for charges against the homeowner.

"We have a right to protect our property, our premises, and certainly the right to protect ourselves," Crump said.

"We don't make the final decision, we will submit what happened to the county attorney to have them review it."