A homeless man is being hailed a hero for helping to save a 19-year-old woman who was being beaten by her ex-boyfriend outside a Fresno, California, liquor store.
The 53-year-old homeless man, Paul DeLeon, pepper-sprayed a man who pulled up in a white Lexus outside the store, approached his ex-girlfriend and started kicking and punching her, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) said in a news release.
After helping the unnamed woman get away, DeLeon then ran away himself, however the suspect tracked him down and fired several shots at him, striking him in the arm, the FCSO said. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Paul DeLeon (pictured) is credited with saving a Fresno teen’s life in an attack. He believes he stopped a man from beating a young woman to death (photo: KFSN).
2. DeLeon was shot in the arm by the attacker (photo: KFSN).
After he was hit, DeLeon “grabbed his registered handgun and returned fire, sending multiple rounds toward the suspect”, but it is “unknown if the suspect was hit”, the FCSO added. “The suspect then drove away.”
After police arrived at the scene of the shooting, DeLeon received medical treatment and the 19-year-old woman he helped was taken to the hospital for treatment, the FCSO said. Both victims are expecting to make a full recovery.
Speaking to KFSN, DeLeon said that he believed he stopped the man from beating the young woman to death. He said:
I mean he was kicking her hard too, right in the head, and I couldn’t just stand there and do nothing. I grabbed my mace, and I maced him.
3. The suspect’s white Lexus (pictured) was found unoccupied later at an intersection (photo: KFSN).
4. Police praised DeLeon for doing a great job by intervening, but added that it’s usually better to call 911 for help (photo: KFSN).
The suspect’s white Lexus was seen speeding at up to 100 mph down Highway 41 in Fresno, the FSCO said, adding that police lost sight of the vehicle, but found it unoccupied later at an intersection.
Detectives said that they were searching for the suspect, who might be facing charges of spousal abuse and assault with a firearm.
Officers say they have a good idea of who the suspect is, but as of Friday afternoon they have not publicly identified him.
Police praised DeLeon for doing a great job by intervening, but added that it’s usually better to call 911 for help. DeLeon has not been arrested or charged and has been called a “Good Samaritan” by the FCSO.
5. A homeless man gets shot after saving a teen girl’s life.
Read more: KFSN.
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