MONTEBELLO, CA – In the early morning hours of Nov. 26, a man went to investigate and confront a man on the roof of his business on the 3300 block of West Beverly Boulevard in Montebello, Calif, according to the Whittier Daily News, arming himself with a revolver before going up. He was alerted to his presence by the sound of footsteps.
The shooter, an unidentified business owner in the area, lives in a residence behind his shop. That section of Beverly Blvd. is a shopping district, with rows of businesses with connected roofs and a few small residences behind the storefront.
The confrontation turned violent, and the prowler tried to grab the homeowner/proprietor’s gun. During the struggle, the rooftop prowler was shot in the chest and stopped fighting.
Both men stood up, and the homeowner fired a warning shot, causing the other man to flee to the next rooftop and jump down into the alley. However, he collapsed a short time later.
Authorities were called and found one Edward Pedroza, 30, dead in the alley. The homeowner/resident said that when he confronted Pedroza, he was told, “I’m armed, and I’m here for the money.”
A homeless encampment was discovered on a nearby rooftop, and it is believed that Pedroza was a resident of it. The LA County Sheriffs are investigating the shooting but haven’t yet submitted charges to the district attorney’s office.
The Best Defense Against A Gun Grab Is Not Being Close Enough
The only person with a good reason to be on someone else’s rooftop at 2 a.m. is Santa Claus. There’s no denying that the decedent was clearly trespassing at minimum, if not much worse, and when confronted, allegedly threatened the lawful resident.
However, there are some takeaways.
The best defense against a gun grab is to not be close enough to the person for your gun to get grabbed. A person could argue that calling the police instead of going to investigate would have just as easily have resolved the situation and not resulted in the man’s death…even if he was almost certainly up to no good.
But that also begs the question of whether the police would have done anything. Homelessness and crime are complex societal problems with no easy or simple solutions, but it’s also the case that some jurisdictions want these poor victims of society not trifled over a bit of burglary, no matter who it hurts.
Second, notice how the rooftop prowler was hit in the chest, fled the rooftop, jumped into an alley, and was trying to flee before he collapsed.
Ask any deer or elk hunter, and they’ll tell you that chest hits, even to the lung or heart, don’t drop game animals right away. The same is true of humans.
What could have happened if he’d decided to keep fighting? Don’t assume the fight is over if you hit the target. That’s why failure drills are a thing.
Next, the homeowner fired a warning shot. Never, ever fire a warning shot. If the threat is real, shoot the threat.
While the shooter is not facing charges at this time, that doesn’t mean they won’t. Prosecutors all have their own philosophies and agendas, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how the circumstances of this case will be interpreted.