An apparent break-in at a Barelas, New Mexico, home early Monday morning left one man dead after he was shot by the homeowner, who claimed he fired in self-defense, but now the deceased man’s family is speaking out and saying that there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
The homeowner and his wife, who is believed to be pregnant, were home with their 1-year-old child when they heard someone in the house around 1 a.m., according to reports from local media. The man, whose name has not been released, discovered the suspect in his home. The intruder, later identified as 43-year-old Willie Amador, had apparently forced his way into the home through a screen door and was armed with a 6-inch knife.
A physical altercation broke out between the two men, and the homeowner eventually fired two shots from his gun, striking Amador.
When police arrived at the home, Amador was pronounced dead and a knife was found lying beside his body.
Authorities said they received another call about a disturbance in the same area earlier that day, and they believe that Amador may have been involved in that incident as well. Lisa Ortiz, who lives in the neighborhood and heard the gunshots, said that crime is common in the area.
However, Amador’s family later revealed that not only was the homeowner acquainted with him, but the two were cousins. The family doesn’t think the story adds up and they are requesting authorities conduct a more thorough investigation into the events that led to Amador’s death.
According to Amador’s daughter, Diana, the two men had been involved in an altercation earlier that day, and her father was jumped by the man who shot him. Diana said the men had “bumped heads previously,” but she doesn’t think her father broke into the house. She also said the knife found at the scene belonged to the homeowner, not her father.
Diana thinks that a fight broke out between the men, and her father — because he is stubborn — refused to back down. Nonetheless, she said it went too far when the gun entered into the picture.
Although Amador had an extensive criminal history, which included burglary and battery, Diana said his past is just that and he was on the path to a better life, centered around his nine children and all of his grandchildren. In fact, Amador was supposed to be baptized this weekend.
The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed against the homeowner at this time.