Man Unlikely To Be Charged After Killing Home Invasion Suspects

Law enforcement officials are still seeking three suspects in a botched home invasion robbery in Corning, and still trying to determine the identities of the two dead men. Tuesday evening, a woman knocked at the front door of a home on Highway 99W at the northern edge of Corning near Blackburn Avenue and said her car had broken down. 23-year-old Austreberto Santamaria-Valencia went out to help her. When he got to the car two men confronted him, one of them with a handgun, and led him back toward the house, apparently to steal a large quantity of marijuana. Meanwhile the victim’s parents, 48-year-old Enrique Santamaria-Zepeda and 44-year-old Maria Valencia-Lepe, had come outside and were accosted by two other armed men. As they pressed their guns into their sides, Maria screamed and the husband and wife struggled, as did Austreberto, and all three were able to get into the house and lock the door. Austreberto retrieved a handgun from his bedroom as suspects in the carport broke the window of the back door. That would be their final act as Austreberto stepped out the door and shot two of the robbers in the head, killing them. One of the remaining suspects took off on foot, and was last seen running northeast through an orchard. The woman and the other male suspect fled to the south in a white 4-door 2006 Dodge Charger. The car was lowered and may have tinted windows. It had no front license plate, but had a license plate frame that was cracked or damaged. No names have been found for the dead men, both believed to be 25 to 35-years-old. The family said all 5 of them were Hispanic, but there’s no other description. Austreberto will likely not be charged with any crime as the shooting appears to have been self defense.


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