‘Sad and tragic situation’: Homeowner shoots, kills man he believes to be intruder

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 9:01 AM PDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A resident on North Lake Court Drive off Lake Street shot and killed a 21-year-old man he believed to be a possible intruder Monday night, authorities said.

Upon investigation, authorities believe 21-year-old Joseph Tezeno was attending a party on a nearby street, became intoxicated and may have accidentally approached the wrong house.

Much of the incident was caught on home security cameras, Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said.

Around 10:40 p.m., the homeowner was sleeping and was startled by someone at the front door trying to get in, Mancuso said. Video captured the man attempting to enter through the front door, Mancuso said.

“The homeowner eventually comes out of the house with a gun, walks around the front of the house, sees a Black, male subject in his garage/shop area, confronts (the man),” Mancuso said. “It’s obvious, you can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s telling him to get out.”

When Tezeno approached the homeowner, the homeowner fired a shot into the ground, “like a warning shot,” Mancuso said. Tezeno continued to approach the homeowner and the homeowner shot him twice, the Sheriff said.

Tezeno, a McNeese student from Lake Arthur, was “by all accounts, a good kid,” Mancuso said.

“We don’t believe this person was truly trying to break into this house,” Mancuso said. “We believe he was extremely intoxicated.”

“Evidently he has too much to drink and goes to the wrong house. We really don’t know and we may never know what he was trying to do to get in this house, but the homeowner doesn’t know that. Homeowner by all accounts is startled, thinks someone is trying to break into his house and in Louisiana you have the right to defend your home and yourself and that’s what we believe he was doing.”

Mancuso is asking anyone who lives in the area who has surveillance cameras to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Mancuso said he does not anticipate arresting the homeowner. He said once the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Calcasieu District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s just a terrible, it is a terrible chain of events,” the Sheriff said.

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