SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A South Bend man is praising police for quickly catching three suspects in a violent attempted home invasion. But, he played a large role in preventing the crime from escalating.
The homeowner asked NewsCenter 16 not to show his face or reveal his last name because he's afraid the suspects are involved in a gang.
Around 2:18 Tuesday morning, Randy says he woke up to the sound of his 82-year-old mother screaming.
"My mom heard a loud boom," he said. "And, then I heard another big boom. And, I heard a kick. And, I seen the back door frame was off and I said, 'Somebody's trying to get in here.'"
Randy says three men were trying to push their way inside through the back door, which was locked with a deadbolt. So, he used all of his body weight to push back, trying to keep the men out.
"They kicked again and the door opened," he said. "And, he said 'Let me in here mother f*****.' I said, 'You're not coming up in this house.'"
Randy's mother was screaming in the background the entire time, unable to call 911 because she suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. So, Randy knew he had to do everything possible to get the suspects to go away.
"I took a stick and jabbed one in the face," he said. "He ran off hollering, hollering. And, this other one came with the gun. I thought my life was gone then."
Randy says an armed suspect pointed the gun at his head and fired, but he aimed too high. The bullet went into the home, just above the door.
At that point, all three suspects fled on foot, running down Dubail.
Randy called 911 and police arrived quickly.
He says the entire time the men were trying to get in, he was taking note of their clothing and the sound of their voices. Their faces were covered with scarves.
With a description from Randy, police were able to track all three suspects down quickly. A K9 unit helped lead them in the right direction.
Pablo Pedraza, 20, Jeffrey Williams, 20, and Marcus Peters, 18, all of South Bend, were arrested. They face preliminary charges of B felony robbery.
Randy says he's not sure why the young men targeted his house, but one of them used to be friends with his son.
He's thankful neither he nor his mother got hurt during the ordeal. And, Randy is praising police for quickly catching the men.
"They did a real good job," he said. "Excellent, excellent job. I'm proud of them."
Anyone with additional information on this case or any other case involving the suspects are asked to call the SBPD Investigative Division at 574-235-9263 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.