Long Beach police Monday said a 29-year-old man who was shot to death after entering someone else's home was attempting to burglarize the homeowner after scaling a backyard wall and breaking a window to gain entry.
Police identified the alleged burglar as Ryan Anderson, who they say was confronted and fatally shot by the homeowner in the 2800 block of East 3rd Street about 3 a.m. Sunday.
The latest details released by police Monday afternoon come after friends said Anderson may have mistakenly entered the home after a night of partying.
Anderson was celebrating a friend’s birthday and was walking home when he went into somebody else’s house, his friend Amanda Farhall told KCBS-TV Channel 2.
“I just don’t believe that he was a burglar 'cause he’s just not that kind of guy,” Farhall said. “He was loved by everybody.”
Jay Diebel told the Long Beach Post that his longtime friend was not a burglar and referred to the incident as a “freak accident.”
Anderson’s mother told CBS2/KCAL9 she spoke to her son before the shooting and said he was drunk, disoriented and having trouble finding his way home.
Police investigators have requested a toxicology report to determine if Anderson was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the shooting.
Though there’s been a rash of break-ins in the area recently, police told residents Sunday they don’t believe Anderson was tied to any of them.
Residents had mixed reactions to the shooting.
“I think it’s sad it had to come to that, to a shooting,” said James Farren, 36. “But you have to protect your family and possession.”
“I’m not surprised he reacted the way he did,” said Mayra Laureano, 48. “If he was under the belief that this was a home-invasion, then he was justified.”
Near the intersection of 3rd Street and Gladys Avenue, small red flowers in a mason jar stood next to a note in a wooden frame.
“I will miss your jokes and the way you made my best friend smile. We love you,” the small note read.
Sgt. Megan Zabel, a Long Beach police spokeswoman, said homicide investigators have spoken to the two adult residents of the home, and there is "no indication of intent" on their part.
Long Beach police have not released any information about the residents, the gun used or whether the shooter had a license for the weapon.
The shooting marks the second incident involving an intruder in Long Beach.
In July, a resident shot a woman, Andrea Miller, who allegedly broke into his home with a man. Miller’s accomplice, Gus Adams, was charged with murder in connection with her death.