Homeowner arrested after shootout with suspected car thieves
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A shootout in Southeast Shelby County over the weekend landed a homeowner behind bars, but a handful of suspects are free after they allegedly tried to steal his car.
The incident began just past midnight Saturday morning at a home on Blue Lake Lane after 40-year-old Victor Luna’s security system alerted him that motion was detected in his driveway.
On his phone, Luna saw an unfamiliar sedan in his driveway via video surveillance.
Soon after, he saw two men, possibly teenagers, casing his Jeep Grand Cherokee and then saw one get into the driver’s seat.
According to court documents, Luna told Shelby County deputies that as he went outside, armed, to confront the suspects, they immediately opened fire.
Luna said he closed his eyes while shooting back at them because he was scared.
A neighbor who did not want to be identified heard the shootout that broke out across the street.
“I had just finished taking a shower and I heard what sounded like fireworks,” said the neighbor.
Shelby County deputies say that video surveillance then shows five suspects in total all taking off in the sedan, without the Jeep.
No one was hurt, but some of the bullets from the exchange went through several neighbors’ houses across the street.
“It was frightening, and just the fact that it traveled so far... because, I mean, the house is all the way across the street, and for that bullet to have gone that far and still had that much strength, I don’t know even know how to describe that,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, investigators recovered nearly 30 bullets along with several key fob programmers that the suspects left on the front seat of the Jeep.
Luna’s wife along with their three daughters were home at the time. Their house was shot, too.
“He told detectives, ‘Yeah, I was nervous, I wasn’t trying to kill nobody. I was trying to keep my life and my family’s life safe,’” said Luna’s wife.
But Luna’s neighbors whose houses were impacted by the gunfire say learning gun safety is essential.
“You can protect, but maybe you need to get some gun training, dog,” said one of Luna’s neighbors. “I’m not a gun person, but I think I would probably do the same thing because it’s frightening to be face-to-face with the stuff going on.”
Luna was arrested that night and charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.
He appeared in court Monday morning, but his case is pending a rescheduled hearing.
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