PEORIA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A man has died after an intruder set the Peoria home he was living in on fire. That man shot the intruder who was carrying a blow torch.
The homeowner says he's lived in the home for 14 years now, and nothing like this has ever happened before, he says he's never seen the suspect before, and he is not sure why he did what he did.
"I don't know if somebody wanted the property, is upset with me, if someone is upset with one of my tenants," said Dave Bowers.
Around 3 a.m. Thursday morning Bowers says his alarm alerted him to someone at his back door of his home near 75th Avenue and Acoma.
He rented out rooms to a few people and was not sure what was going on.
"I look up and here is this guy going to the back door with a flaming torch of some kind, with a rod about this long, and a foot of fire," said Bowers.
Bowers says he confronted the man who was wearing a ski mask.
"When I got inside he was smearing around on the living room floor, and he turned around, saw me, ran towards me, and that is when I shot him," said Bowers.
The suspect then ran out of the home as it was engulfed in flames. Bowers screamed for everyone to get out.
"He ran across, jumped over to the fence, I got to the fence, and I was still firing at him about 4-5 times as he ran across the field and jumped another fence to 75th Avenue, and then he ran north on 75th," he said.
That suspect was later found by police a short time later. Police say everyone got out of the home except 73-year-old Steve Krzyzewski, he was pulled from the home by firefighters but sadly died from his injuries.
"That's a miserable way to die, a miserable way, I hope they have someone at this guys trial to remind the jurors how hard it is to die in a fire," said Bowers.
Several deputies and firefighters were treated at the scene; the suspect has not been charged yet as he is recovering from his injuries.