Armed Coral Gables homeowner protects family against armed burglar

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - An armed Coral Gables homeowner took matters into his own hands to protect his family against an armed burglar.

Alex Mendoza was perplexed when he woke up to a loud knock on his front door, Wednesday morning. “Guy banging on my front door. We don”t know who’s banging on our front door. We couldn’t see them from the second floor,” Mendoza said. “I thought maybe they had gotten the wrong house or something. They were waiting out to see if someone answered the door.”

Police said the man at the door was Elides Serene Alvarez. Alvarez continued knocking on the door, which sparked Mendoza to grab his gun.

“My adrenaline was going,” Mendoza said. “I really can’t tell you what happens at that time, but you’re ready to protect your family.”

Police said the suspect broke the window of Mendoza’s truck. “Confronting some guy right in front of you, and it’s your life or his,” Mendoza said.

Police said Alvarez threw a tire-iron at Mendoza before getting into a van and trying to take off. Police said Mendoza then shot out a tire.

In court, a judge told Alvarez that he could have been killed if things went differently.

Mendoza said he was only thinking of his family when he reacted. “Once I got to the van, I was faced with another passenger inside, and the van’s now a weapon against me. The only thing I thought of was, ‘Let me shot the tire out, so they can’t run me over,'” Mendoza said.

Coral Gables Police responded to the scene and took Alvarez into custody.

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