As they stood on the front brick patio of their home Thursday morning--exhausted but unfazed--Nadav and Sandra Joshua said they felt like they had just come home from war.
The couple, bruised and stiff, calmly recounted the events of the night, during which a robbery suspect forced his way into their home on Matinicus Court and was shot dead by their neighbor, Mike Weiser.
“We scuffled quite a bit and I’m really sore, but you should see the other guy,” Nadav Joshua said. “This was the wrong place for a bad guy to walk into.”
Authorities said that the dead man, 26-year-old Hector Armando Reyes of Anaheim, was on the run from police after he and 23-year-old Merced Medina, also of Anaheim, robbed a McDonald’s restaurant in Los Alamitos on Wednesday night. State Department of Corrections officials said Thursday that Reyes had a lengthy criminal history and an extensive record of arrests involving drug use, property crimes and burglaries. He had been released from prison Dec. 22.
Reyes and Medina fled from the restaurant in the 3000 block of Katella Avenue in a pickup truck and were followed by a Los Alamitos police officer. The truck ran into a dead-end in an industrial area, police said. Officers arrested Medina after a short chase, but Reyes eluded them. He ended up in Cypress Village, the 681-home planned community where the Joshuas have lived since 1988.
Reyes apparently hid for at least two hours as police sealed off a one-square-mile area and searched by foot and helicopter.
Nadav Joshua, 40, had just walked out of his front door when Reyes pushed him back into the house.
“He wanted a hostage,” Joshua said. “He was looking to see if I had a wife and kids and wanted to get upstairs.” During a struggle that lasted several minutes, Joshua managed to keep Reyes from getting upstairs.
As the pair struggled, Sandra Joshua, 45, called police. She then armed herself with a knife and a handgun, climbed out her upstairs bedroom window and clung to a railing while dangling from the balcony.
Weiser, who lives across the street, heard her screams and ran to help her down from the balcony, then returned with a shotgun, police said.
Reyes and Nadav Joshua were still scuffling in the house when Sandra Joshua began screaming at Reyes to let her husband go.
“At that point, he opened the front door and they came outside and into the garage,” she said.
Sandra Joshua said she jumped on top of Reyes, who was at least 6 feet tall, and began stabbing him in the back with the knife. He wrestled her to the ground and managed to get ahold of his gun.
Weiser saw Reyes with the gun and ordered him to drop it, Capt. Robert Bandurraga of the Cypress Police Department said. Reyes pointed the gun at Weiser, who fired once, hitting Reyes in the chest.
Bandurraga said police were “viewing this as an excusable homicide. You have an armed suspect who had the clear ability to cause bodily harm, so obviously (Weiser) had the right to defend himself and anyone else who was in immediate jeopardy.”