ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators said an alleged home invasion suspect shot and killed by an Orange County homeowner was trying to rob the elderly couple.
The shooting happened shortly after 11 a.m. Monday along 10th Avenue. The suspect was identified as Luis Angel Rivera. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rivera’s family said he worked around the clock to provide for his wife and four children and they can't believe he attempted to rob an elderly couple at knifepoint.
Rivera’s wife and mother-in-law spoke to WFTV through sobs about what happened.
“He was nice with everybody. Every time they call him to do something, cut grass to different house, he do,” they said.
Rivera's family said they rent a property from the homeowner who pulled the trigger. They said Rivera went to the home previously to help fix the couple’s car. But the Sheriff's Office said Rivera went back later with a different plan.
“He was armed with a knife, with a weapon, and advanced into the residence,” a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. “He was told there was no money, no money to provide. And the individual continued to advance into the house.”
According to the spokesman, the homeowner said he fired a warning shot and then a second round that killed Rivera. The homeowner's family said he had to defend himself.
“It’s awful, that's all I got to say,” said the homeowner’s daughter. “It's the day we're living in, I guess.”
However, Rivera's grieving loved ones refuse to believe the homeowner's story.
“Do you believe he was at this house to rob these people?”Channel 9’s Nancy Alvarez asked.
“No, no, no! I don't know! Something happened there,” said Liliana Ortiz, Rivera’s mother-in-law.
The Sheriff’s Officer said the investigation is far from over. They’re still taking a close look at the homeowner’s story.