Off-duty Fontana police officer shoots and kills intruder in Apple Valley home, authorities say

An off-duty Fontana police officer shot and killed a suspected robber at his Apple Valley home Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The officer awoke about 5:39 a.m. to find a man trying to steal personal belongings inside his home in the 20000 block of Ochoa Road, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The intruder was armed with a handgun, sheriff’s officials said.

During a brief struggle, the officer tried to subdue the man and was able to hold him at gunpoint, authorities said.

But the intruder ignored the officer’s orders to show his hands and lie on the ground, sheriff’s officials said. The man reached for his waistband, and the officer shot him in the upper torso, authorities said.

He was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead. Authorities identified him Thursday as Vincent Avila, 25, of Apple Valley. 

The officer, an eight-year department veteran whose name was not released, was not injured. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, Fontana police spokeswoman Martha Guzman-Hurtado said.

Sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating.

The shooting comes a day after an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant shot two suspected burglars inside his San Gabriel home. One of the suspects was in critical condition, and the other was in stable condition.

The LAPD lieutenant, who was not identified, was inside his home in the 600 block of Los Olivos Drive when he confronted the two men in his backyard after they climbed out a window. He was standing in his kitchen near a window when he saw one of the men reach for his waistband, said Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau.

“Fearing the suspect had armed himself and was going to seriously hurt or kill the homeowner,” the officer fired and struck both men in the upper torso, a sheriff’s statement said.

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times


March 17, 10:32 a.m.: This story was updated with the identity of the suspected robber.

March 16, 2:23 p.m.: This story was updated with more details from authorities about the shooting.

March 16, 1:19 p.m.: This story was updated with the officer being placed on paid administrative leave.

March 16, 12:43 p.m.: This story was updated with the officer's law enforcement organization affiliation.

This story was originally published at 10:13 a.m. March 16.

EDITION: California | U.S. & World