STAFF AND SUBMITTED REPORTS
San Marcos police are investigating the death of a 19-year old man early Sunday who was shot by a resident as he tried to enter the back door of a home in the 1300 block of Belmont Street in San Marcos.
Elijah Espinoza, of 512 Lockwood Street in San Marcos, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Jo Ann Prado. He was shot multiple times after attempting to enter the home through a back door around 3 a.m. Sunday, police said.
According to San Marcos Police Cmdr. Chase Stapp, police are investigating whether the attempted break-in and shooting are related to an attack on a female resident at the same home the night before.
Stapp said an intruder entered the home on Saturday morning at approximately 5 a.m. and attacked a female resident before fleeing the area on foot. The family called police who were not able to locate the intruder during their investigation.
No charges have been filed against the resident who shot Espinoza, Stapp said. Following the police investigation, the case will be turned over to District Attorney Sherri Tibbe for review.
Espinoza is the sixth person shot during home intrusions in the last 14 months. Police have said that all of the previous incidents were related to drugs.
On Sept. 3 last year, two Luling teenagers were killed and a third seriously injured when they were shot by a resident of the Chestnut Street home they tried to rip off. A fourth suspect, 17-year-old Frank Castro of Luling, was caught at the scene and charged with aggravated robbery and, later, with capital murder and murder in his accomplices’ deaths. His trial is scheduled to begin in January, court records state.
Less than two months later, on Oct. 20, a resident of a University Heights apartment survived a gunshot wound by an intruder. Michael Wilson, 23, and Justin Pickaree, 19, both of the San Antonio area, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest. Wilson and Pickaree are awaiting trial; in November, District Judge Charles Ramsay issued a bench warrant for Wilson who had been out on bail.
A day after that, 21-year-old Dennis Andrew Nefedov was shot when he broke into a house on Oscar Smith Drive. He survived the shooting and was charged with burglary of a habituation with intent to commit another felony.
In the Chestnut Street and Oscar Smith Drive cases, residents of the home were later indicted on marijuana- or drug-related charges.