YAKIMA, Wash. -- No criminal charges will be brought against three Yakima residents involved in a violent home invasion that led to the death of two suspects last weekend.
“It is clear that the homeowner in this horrific event was defending himself and his family from intruders who had unlawfully entered his home and were attempting to rob him at knifepoint,” Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic said in a news release Friday evening.
More details about the home invasion and deaths of Chase Rogers, 24, and Brian Perez, 31, also were revealed in the release.
Shortly before 4 a.m., Perez and Rogers kicked in the door of a home in the 1900 block of South 64th Avenue, where they thought Perez’s girlfriend was, Brusic said. Perez was armed with knife that had a 10-inch blade, Brusic said.
The father in the home, who was armed with a sheathed knife about 12 inches long, told the men to leave, but Perez demanded money from him and stabbed him four times, according to the release.
The home’s three residents and the two suspects then started to fight, according to the release.
“When the adult male homeowner saw his wife and son beaten and stabbed, he unsheathed his knife and defended himself with lethal force,” the release said. Police have not identified the residents in the home.
Brusic said investigators will never know for sure what caused the situation to change from the men looking for Perez’s girlfriend to attempting to rob the family.
“What I believe happened is that they were possibly intoxicated, we don’t have the toxicology reports back, but we believe they had been drinking and kicked in the door thinking it was the house” where Perez’s girlfriend was, Brusic said. “Brian Perez has a multitude of felonies on his record including burglaries. The speculation is ... he realized at some point it wasn’t the house and all of the sudden he had a knife and he wanted money.”
After the homeowner substantially wounded the men, they attempted to leave in their vehicle but were unsuccessful and ultimately left it and ran away from the home.
Again, Brusic said authorities likely won’t ever know why the men left the car, but he speculated the men realized they had serious wounds and “decided in a panic to run out.”
There is no duty to retreat in your home in the state of Washington. And reasonable deadly force can be used if the homeowner reasonably believes they’re in imminent danger of a suspect committing a felony, inflicting great injury or killing them. For these reasons, Brusic said he decided not to seek criminal charges in the case.
“But for the use of this force in defense of him and his family, the result would have been tragically much different,” Brusic said in the release.