SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - A homeowner who heard a crash and went to check it out ended up in a fight for his life.
The case Santa Fe Police are investigating is no ordinary hit and run. Officials say when a homeowner tried to stop the driver who had just crashed into his new car, the driver pulled a knife and the homeowner pulled out a gun.
Now the suspect is in critical condition and police are still piecing together this chaotic crime that happened just after 9 p.m. Sunday on the 100 block of Candelario St.
"This homeowner heard someone strike his vehicle, so he went outside, saw a red truck leaving the scene and that's when he called police," Sgt. Andrea Dobyns with the Santa Fe Police Department said.
As the homeowner called 911 witnesses say the driver tired to pull a fender off his truck to keep it from dragging and waking up the neighborhood.
"He attempts to turn it around and then he pulls in front of my mailbox and attempts to pull out the fender again," David Gebhardt said. "Two seconds later he speeds out down the road and that's when I saw the commotion."
Police say the owner of the car that was hit, came out of his home to stop the driver.
"I heard get out of the truck! Get out of the truck!" Gebhardt said.
The driver did and what happened next was not good.
"The driver of the truck pulled out a knife, cut the homeowners face, and then the homeowner had a gun on him so he actually shot the driver of the vehicle," Sgt. Dobyns said.
Witnesses say there was only one gun shot.
Monday Santa Fe Police continued to comb the crime scene searching for more clues as neighbors chatted about what happened.
"It's a little extreme to shoot somebody, but it's extreme to slice somebody's face too," said Judith Lovato who works in the area.
Police said the homeowner shouldn't have tried to take the law into his own hands, but had every right to defend himself.
"Be the best witness possible, so if someone strikes your vehicle, get whatever info you can get," said Sgt. Dobyns. "Whether it's a license plate a description. We don't encourage confrontation because we don't want things like this to happen."
Police say the 67-year-old homeowner had to get more than a dozen stitches in his cheek. The hit and run suspect, who is 33-years-old, was shot in the abdomen. The bullet hit his spine and he could be paralyzed.
Police don't know if the driver was drunk or high. Blood testing was a problem because he lost so much at the scene.
There investigation continues.
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