murdered maintenance man

Maintenance man mistaken for burglar fatally shot at apartment complex

A maintenance man was fatally shot while checking balconies for frozen and burst pipes at an apartment complex in Texas after one of the residents mistook him for a burglar, no arrest as investigation is ongoing.

Maintenance man fatally shot when resident mistakes him for a burglar

Cesar Montelongo, 53, a maintenance man employed at Clayton Pointe Apartment Complex in Grand Prairie, Texas, was just doing his job on Christmas Eve – but it would prove fatal.

“Detectives determined the victim was checking multiple balconies for freezing and busted water lines after several pipes had ruptured,” the Grand Prairie Police Department said, NBC reported.

Around 6 PM, one of the residents of the complex mistook Montelongo for a burglar and shot at him, People reported. Montelongo was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

“The resident, who believed his apartment was being burglarized, armed himself with a firearm and shot the victim through a window,” according to a press release issued by the Grand Prairie Police Department.

Family speaks out

The son of the victim, Cesar Montelongo Jr., 28, of Arlington, Texas, said his father was the head of maintenance at the Clayton Pointe complex in Grand Prairie, a suburb of Dallas.

“Come to find out it was not just one bullet that was fired, but four,” said Montelongo Jr. “He wasn’t doing anything malicious. He wasn’t even trying to open the balcony door. He wasn’t trying to get into the apartment.”

“My dad was employed there for 16 years,” Montelongo Jr. added. “All of the residents knew him, and he knew all the residents, as well.”

No charges as yet, certain factors could protect shooter from consequences

“The resident remained at the scene and is cooperating with detectives. At this time, no arrests have been made,” the Grand Prairie Police Department said in a statement.

However, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said Montelongo Sr. died from a gunshot wound to his chest and declared his death a homicide.

One noted defense attorney, a former prosecutor who is not associated with the case, said there are two factors that will come into play on whether or not homicide charges could be brought against the resident.

First, a factor that would “play a very big role,” is the question of whether the resident was given notice there would be maintenance work on the property.

Second, the Castle Doctrine, a law that allows homeowners to defend their properties, in this case against an anticipated burglary, could apply in the shooting. The definition of “property” may extend to the balcony.