Young teens killed after breaking into elderly widow’s home; friends question deadly force

In a north Sacramento, California neighborhood plagued by home invasions and car thefts, two teenage boys picked the wrong house to burglarize last Saturday night. A frightened 68-year-old widow had asked her older brother to come and live with her, and apparently, when he heard the side window smashed and the boys traipsing through the living room, he shot them dead.

Police told ABC News 10 that the home had been robbed just the week before, including by one of the victims as fingerprints revealed, and that owner Alice Hubbard Gordinho was so scared for her life, that she bid older brother Brently to come live with her.

“It’s been a tragedy…I’m sorry for boys and I’m sorry for me because they tormented me,” Gordinho told the TV reporter.

Tearful friends of the victims expressed sorrow at the violent end of the boys, and the mother of the 16-year-old, who’s the youngest of her eight children and supposedly lives with his sister, wondered why the shooter couldn’t have shot a warning shot first.

But a neighbor who had been burglarized twice in the last 12 months, Robert Robinson, told a CBS News 13 reporter, “Justice was served.”

Another neighbor, David Keck, said he felt sorry for the boys, but protecting the safety of your family comes first.

Despite the ages of the victims, 14 and 16, police are describing the incident as an act of self-defense, which meets the requirements of California state law.

“People do have a right to defend themselves if they are in fear for their safety,” Sacramento Police Department Spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante told the Sacramento Bee.

Richard Berkow GET AUTHOR RSS FEED

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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