A homeowner told police he shot a trespasser who was trying to steal his possessions Tuesday morning. The suspect was found dead in a nearby field.
According to Turlock police officer Mayra Lewis, authorities were called to a home in the 1100 block of Dianne Drive at 7:56 a.m. Arriving officers found a 22-year-old man in a field; he was declared dead at the scene in west Turlock.
"It's too early to tell exactly what happened, but from the investigation, the subject who was deceased had been seen trespassing onto private property," Lewis said. "Today, the owner saw him collecting some of his items — stealing stuff."
The 58-year-old homeowner, identified by Lewis as Robin Boyer, told police he confronted the subject and ultimately shot him. He told police he has seen the man trespass on his property "on several previous occasions." After spotting him Tuesday, he said, an altercation ensued. Lewis said she did not know how many times Boyer fired, but the man suffered a shot to the head, and a shotgun was recovered from the scene.
Police said they believe they have identified the suspect but haven't confirmed his identity. The body was taken to the Stanislaus County coroner's office. Lewis said no charges have been filed against Boyer.
"The homeowner has been very cooperative with law enforcement," she said.
Detectives continue to investigate.
The body was found in a field separated by another house from Boyer's residence. The 24-acre sweet potato field belongs to neighbors two houses to the north, Yooav and Lily Mary Osso.
The husband and wife said they did not hear the morning commotion and were alerted to the shooting when a Turlock police officer came to their door. They did not know Boyer.
"I am shocked to hear someone was killed here," said Lily Mary Osso, 84. "We've had no problems here. No problems with theft or anything like that."
The Bee approached occupants of Boyer's residence Tuesday, but they declined to comment.
Speaking generally, Lewis said, residents have the right to defend themselves in certain situations.
"If somebody breaks into your residence and you fear for the safety of your family you can use reasonable force to defend yourself and your family."