Barstow, CA – A good Samaritan neighbor was shot multiple times by would-be burglars when he went to check on the noises his neighbor heard outside her own house.
The series of events that led to the death of 41-year-old Patrick Smith began when police received a 911 call about a burglary in the 800-block of Keith Street at about 6:50 p.m. on Nov. 14, according to KECY.
The Barstow Police Department said in a statement on their official Facebook page that the caller told the 911 operator that her neighbor’s home had been broken into, and that she could see flashlights moving around inside the house.
At the same time that person was calling the police, another neighbor was calling Smith’s house to ask for his help, according to his wife, Elizabeth Smith.
“Detectives learned that while officers were searching for the burglary suspects, the owner of the residence where the shooting occurred called her neighbor and requested that he check her residence because she heard noises outside,” Barstow Police Captain Andrew Espinoza Jr. said in the statement.
Officers arrived on the scene and chased two teenaged boys on foot until they lost track of them, KECY reported.
As they continued to search for the boys, officers heard multiple gunshots nearby.
Police said that Smith had gone outside to check on the noises his neighbor heard, and encountered the burglars.
“The neighbor, who is the victim of the shooting, walked to the side of residence where one of the burglary suspects confronted him and shot him,” Capt. Espinoza said.
Smith, the man who was just doing his neighbor a favor, was shot eight times, KECY reported.
Officers found two of the suspects, ages 15 and 16, hiding close by and put both boys under arrest.
They arrested another 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy in connection with the break-in, according to Capt. Espinoza said.
All four suspects were booked on suspicion of burglary, KTLA reported.
Police have identified the actual shooter as 18-year-old Leslie Hawkins.
However, Hawkins eluded police when the other suspects were arrested and has remained at large, according to KECY.
Police found a loaded handgun near where Smith was shot, and evidence technicians have since confirmed it matched the caliber of the shell casings found by the victim.
The wounded Good Samaritan was airlifted to a local hospital and survived eight days after he was shot.
Smith succumbed to his wounds on Thanksgiving Day, KECY reported.
The fallen Good Samaritan was a California native, and worked as a facilities maintenance manager in Barstow.
He was a big man who was known for his big smile, according to his wife and mother-in law.
“We relied on Patrick to be our savior, he was the person who protected us. He was just so big,” Deanna Dibble said of her late son-in-law.
Smith is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and their five-year-old son, Dyllinger, KECY reported.