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Posted: 12/11/2003 3:35:20 PM EDT
Man protecting his home shoots burglary suspect


Regrets taking a life over a drill

Judi Villa
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 11, 2003 12:00 AM


Jorge Portillo said he didn't have a choice.

He and his father chased a man from Portillo's home, hoping to stop him for police and get back a stolen drill. But when the suspect tried to run them off the road and then pointed a gun out the window at them, Portillo said he had to do something he never thought he'd do: shoot at someone.

"My life was threatened at the time. I had to protect myself and my dad," the 24-year-old said Wednesday.

"I wasn't going to wait for him to shoot first."

Justin Russey, 22, was hit by at least one bullet and lost control of the pickup truck he was driving, rolling the vehicle onto its side and sliding into a fence. He died at the scene.

"I feel bad, especially when you see his face," Portillo said. "Over a drill. I'm sorry."

Phoenix police say the shooting was self-defense and they will not seek charges.

Russey had a string of arrests since 1999, for shoplifting, burglary, theft, forgery and drug possession.

The truck he was driving was stolen and contained loot from another burglary, police said. A gun also was found.

"People are fed up with thieves and burglars ripping them off," Detective Tony Morales said. "They happened to catch this guy in the act, and they did what they thought was right. . . . I don't fault them at all for that."

Portillo said he wanted to stop Russey because he felt police otherwise would not be able to find him.

Still, he said, if he had to do it again, he wouldn't chase Russey. Not for a drill.

"I got real mixed emotions right now," Portillo said. "I took somebody's life."

Portillo's family gathered Tuesday to hang Christmas lights at the west Phoenix home he shares with his wife and two daughters.

Shortly after they finished, Portillo realized he had left the garage door up and stepped out to close it.

He saw someone run from the garage and throw something in a truck. It was the drill Portillo borrowed to hang lights.

Portillo immediately grabbed keys and a gun and left with his dad.

His wife, Sabrina, locked the children in a bedroom. Her sister called 911.

"Everything happened so fast," Sabrina said. "It was so scary. There were people home. We didn't expect it."

Portillo said he and his father initially didn't see the suspect when they drove off.

After Sabrina called to say police had arrived, the pair headed home. That's when Portillo said they spotted Russey at 59th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

"Pull over! Pull over!" Portillo yelled.



Portillo said Russey tried to ram his father's truck. Again, Portillo yelled at the man to stop. Then he saw the gun.

"I reacted and fired back," Portillo said.

"It feels bad. It's a human being that you took his life. For nothing."
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:43:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:35:14 PM EDT
He is lucky that he doesn't live somewhere where they would jail him for that. Like New York or Mass.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:04:27 PM EDT
"People are fed up with thieves and burglars ripping them off," Detective Tony Morales said. "They happened to catch this guy in the act, and they did what they thought was right. . . . I don't fault them at all for that."
View Quote
Gotta love the detective in this case!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:11:42 PM EDT
Although I'm glad the fuck is dead,(I wish the asshole that stole my air compressor could join him) It almost sounds like these two went too far. If the Shooters were White and the theif was a Mexican this story would probably have a totally different spin.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:18:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By markm: Although I'm glad the fuck is dead,(I wish the asshole that stole my air compressor could join him) It almost sounds like these two went too far. If the Shooters were White and the theif was a Mexican this story would probably have a totally different spin.
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Did you read the entire story?? They chased him and told the thief to pull over, the thief tried to run them off the road and then the THIEF pulled his gun out. That's when the theif got what he fucking deserved. That homeowner solved the problem, one less theif in the neigborhood.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:36:39 PM EDT
Yeah. I heard the guy on the news claiming he saw the guy reach for something so he shot. These guys are just damn lucky that there was indeed a firearm in the stolen vehicle.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:37:32 PM EDT
One less piece of shit to worry about. Now the family of dead shitbag gets to sue, and maybe even put up a roadside memorial!!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 6:13:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew: "It feels bad. It's a human being that you took his life. [b]For nothing[/b]."
View Quote
What a dumbass. He can feel bad about it all he wants, but he should keep his mouth shut. A grand jury hears that kind of talk and what are they supposed to do? I think they were wrong in getting as close as they did. They could have trailed the thief and called the police on a cell phone. Or follow him to his house, then call the police. Why put yourself at that much risk over a drill? Now if the thief were still in the house/property, then it would have been a completely different story.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 6:35:09 PM EDT
I totally agree with you C-4. It was damn foolish to get into a deadly confrontation over a drill. Shit. I walked into a black guy ripping off THREE 30 packs of beer at circle K the other night. I had my gun with me, but of course could do nothing but watch him load his trunk and drive away. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is be a good witness. That said, I'm still glad the puke is dead.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 6:38:31 PM EDT
I'm glad the bad guy is dead but Jorge should consider himself lucky. I don't know the law in AZ but here in NC you can't shoot over property and you can't chase down suspects. And even if you haven't committed a crime doesn't mean you can't be sued. The most important thing we were told in the CCW class was "don't do anything you can't defend in front of a jury".
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