• A 93-year-old man shot and critically wounded a home intruder and held his accomplices at gunpoint, authorities said
  • He was not arrested and charged in the shooting
  • A family member claimed that the elderly man had been the victim of a string of recent break-ins

Moreno Valley, California -- A 93-year-old California man shot and injured a home intruder and scared off the would-be burglar's accomplices earlier this week, according to authorities.

Homeowner Joe Howard Teague shot the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Joseph Ortega, during an attempted burglary in Teague's Moreno Valley, California, home at around midnight Wednesday, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.

As deputies were heading to his home, Teague told dispatch he "had several subjects at gunpoint" in his residence, according to authorities.

When police arrived, they found Ortega, of Moreno Valley, with a gunshot wound. He was treated for his injuries at the scene before being taken to a hospital in critical condition.

There were several people inside Teague’s home when he opened fire, investigators reported. A witness, who was not identified, told police they saw several people flee on foot before the deputies arrived.

Teague was not injured. He was questioned at a sheriff's department station and then released.

Authorities said it appears the shooting was justified but added that the investigation is ongoing.

"Based on the severity of Ortega’s medical condition, the Central Homicide Unit responded to the scene and assumed the investigation," the sheriff's department said. "Investigators have established that several individuals, including Ortega, were inside Teague's property when a shooting occurred."

Teague told reporters outside his home Thursday that he approached the suspects to "put them under citizen's arrest," but one of them allegedly tried to attack him with a fishing pole, ABC7 reported. It is not clear if he was referring to Ortega.

A family member, Oscar Malma, told KABC that this was not the first time that Teague had been the victim of a break-in. He claimed that the 93-year-old's residence was broken into in broad daylight just last week.

"He was tired because every time he calls the police, the police were taking forever to come and assist him," Malma stated. "He took the law into his own hands... He's been working all his life and whatever little things he has, he's (protecting)."

He added that Teague was likely targeted because he is a retired plumber and musician and has "a lot of" tools and musical instruments in his home.

"Little by little, they've been ripping him off," Malma said.

No arrests have been announced, and the other suspects have not been named as of this writing. The investigation into the case is ongoing.

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