LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California man shot dead after breaking into a young family’s suburban home over the weekend had ranted about zombies hours before he showed up screaming threats in their backyard and smashed into their house, authorities said on Monday.
The Orange County Sheriff’s department said that 22-year-old Paul Michael Bracamontes was killed in the affluent community of Yorba Linda by a homeowner who awoke before dawn on Sunday to find him screaming in the backyard.
The homeowner, whose wife and infant were inside the house, shot Bracamontes after he broke in through a glass door before police were able to respond to an emergency call, authorities said.
“He was making threats to harm the homeowners and said that there were five more people out front that were going to harm them,” Lieutenant Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. “We’re sure those other people didn’t exist.”
Hallock said the man’s relatives told authorities that he had been hallucinating at a party on Saturday evening and had made several “inappropriate” comments about zombies to a family member.
“He indicated that he needed or wanted a gun before leaving the party,” Hallock said. “The next thing they knew, he was gone and that was the last they heard or saw of him.”
Hallock would not say how many shots were fired but confirmed the gun used was registered to the homeowner, who he said was “very upset” about the incident. Authorities said the homeowner would not be charged because he acted in self defense.
Authorities were looking into whether drugs or alcohol may have been involved. Hallock could not say if Bracamontes had a history of mental illness. The couple told deputies they did not know Bracamontes.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Orange County Superior Court records show that Bracamontes was charged with public intoxication in January 2013, but the case was dismissed in April.
Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker