Mission Homeowner and Immigrant Shot while Trespassing Share Perspectives
Two stories, two perspectives; Daniel Leon-Gutierrez spoke to the media Tuesday morning.
Leon was in the country illegally along with a group of immigrants who were running from Border Patrol March 5.
Just south of Mission is an area prone to human smuggling.
Leon says two groups went through the same property; one of the groups broke into a house.
Leon said he stayed behind and that's when he interacted with the homeowner.
Leon explained, "The group left and I saw the man, he said to leave. I said, ‘yes, I'm leaving.’ I see he takes out a pistol, a revolver. He says ‘leave.’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I'm an immigrant,’ I said. ‘I'm not going to do anything to anyone,’ I said. ‘Yes, go,’ he says. So, I turned around looking to make sure he didn't shoot. I took off running when he shot at my back."
He showed us the wounds that resulted from the incident.
The immigrant lifted his shirt and pointed at his back beneath his right arm and said, "This is the entry."
Then he showed us another wound on his lower stomach and said, "And this is the exit."
The Mission homeowner's narrative is different. He spoke off-camera, but on the record.
He told us he was taking a nap when he woke up to a loud noise; the door was broken in.
A group of immigrants were inside his home.
The homeowner began yelling at them while his dogs got in between them.
That's when the homeowner says he went back to his bedroom for his .38 Smith and Wesson snub-nosed revolver.
The immigrant group backed out of the house and the man held his gun by the door jamb.
He tells us three immigrants, including Leon, were in front of him; he was telling them to leave, but the group wasn't moving.
He told us he had his weapon pointed at two of the men on one side; Leon was about eight-feet away on his other side.
The homeowner said the men made eye contact and Leon moved closer; that's when the homeowner opened fire.
He said Leon was facing him when he shot him.
The man told us he's lived alone in this neighborhood for 45 years.
He's seen other human smuggling incidents, but this is the first time someone broke into his house and the first time he shot at someone.
Mission police say although there is a warrant for Leon's arrest for criminal trespass, this case is effectively on hold.
The police department is sending their investigation to the Hidalgo District Attorney's Office.
They're waiting for guidance on how to proceed; the case is expected to get to the district attorney by the end of the week.
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