LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Gwinnett County Police are searching for four men who were breaking into cars early Sunday morning when they were confronted by a homeowner. That resident was shot chasing after the men.
Jose Herrera's car was parked in the driveway of his home that morning. Police said it was ransacked by thieves, who stole his gun before shooting one of his neighbors.
"We heard four gunshots," said Herrera.
Herrera went outside to investigate and discovered someone broke into his car and several other vehicles here along Lexington Drive.
His neighbor, 29-year-old Nelson Martinez, was shot after investigators said he caught the thieves breaking into these two vehicles parked outside his home.
Martinez, shot twice in the chest, was in critical condition at Gwinnett Medical Center Monday afternoon.
"The crazy thing is I had ammo in here. They never stole that when they stole the gun," said victim Jose Herrera.
The violent crime alarming for Nathan Vickery and others in the neighborhood.
"It doesn't matter where you are, but it is sad that it happened here in Gwinnett County and on this street," said Vickery.
A Gwinnett County Police detectives canvassed the area, talking to neighbors Monday morning.
Police said the 29-year-old victim and a friend were hanging out in the backyard at around 1 a.m. Sunday when they stumbled upon the men breaking into the vehicles.
The suspects ran. A witness told investigators Martinez gave chase and was shot after tackling one of them.
All four suspects got into a white four-door passenger car, possibly a Honda or Toyota.
"It's pretty scary," said Herrera.
Herrera is just thankful he didn't come face to face with the thieves.
"It was scary. It could've happened to me if I had been out here at the right time," said Herrera.
Gwinnett County Police are asking anyone with information in the case give them a call.