Alleged home invader fatally shot by homeowner lived nearby, may have been intoxicated

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PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – A homeowner in Pleasant Grove shot and killed a man who allegedly tried to force his way into a residence early Sunday morning, and police said one of the working theories in the case is that the man may have been intoxicated and confused about which townhome in a larger complex he was trying to enter.

According to a press release from the Pleasant Grove Police Department, police responded to the area of 1700 West and 60 South around 5:42 a.m. Sunday after receiving report that a man had shot another man who had tried to force his way into a residence through a door on a second-story balcony.

Police stated in the release their investigation so far has determined that 24-year-old Christian Chichia allegedly began pounding on the door of the residence, which awakened and alarmed the homeowners. Lt. Britt Smith, Pleasant Grove Police Department, said the husband armed himself with a handgun and went downstairs to the door to see what was happening.

When the man reached the front door, his wife--who was on the third floor--told him the man was now on the residence's second-story balcony. Smith said as the homeowner approached the balcony door the handle was jiggling and Chichia was trying to gain entry, so the homeowner went to open the door "just a crack" to speak with Chichia.

“[The homeowner] unlocked it so that he could open it and engage in conversation with Chichia, and that’s when Chichia forced the door and attempted to open it, and that’s when the homeowner—not knowing why he was there, what his intentions were, fearing for his safety and his wife’s safety—fired a round," Smith said.

Smith said Chichia was taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the chest from a .40-caliber handgun, and "Life-saving measures were taken, but ultimately he did die from his wounds."

Smith said the homeowner and Chichia lived in the same complex of townhomes but they don't believe the two knew each other prior to Sunday's encounter.

Townhomes in Pleasant Grove where a home owner fatally shot an alleged home invader. Photo has been blurred to omit addresses.

Townhomes in Pleasant Grove where a home owner fatally shot an alleged home invader. Photo has been blurred to omit addresses.

“You have a bunch of duplexes and townhomes, they are three-story townhomes," Smith said. "He lives like a building or two away."

Smith said one of their working theories was that Chichia might have been intoxicated and thought he was trying to get into the residence he shared with several roommates.

“So according to witness reports, we suspect that alcohol was definitely a factor this morning," Smith said. "But, of course, we’re going to wait until toxicology results come back before we say for sure, but according to witness reports alcohol was definitely a factor.”

Chichia didn't make any attempt to communicate verbally while trying to enter the residence, Smith said. He said Chichia has an adult criminal history, and that all of the offenses, which were mostly alcohol-related, were non-violent.

While Smith said the mistaken address theory is one they are investigating, he said they may never actually know what happened.

“We don’t know what his intent was, and unfortunately we can’t ask him, so I’m afraid that’s going to be one of those big unknowns in this case, which really makes it kind of tragic because we don’t know what his intent was," Smith said.

The homeowner has not been charged at this point in the investigation.

“So obviously in the state of Utah you have the right to defend your home… But this case will be submitted to the Utah County Attorney’s Office," Smith said. "They’ll review it, staff it, and screen it for any charges, but at this point the Pleasant Grove Police Department isn’t making any arrests, we're not filing any charges."

This marks the second time in two days a civilian has fatally shot someone during the commission of an alleged crime in Utah County. A man shopping at a grocery store in Orem Saturday responded to a woman's cries for help during a carjacking and fatally shot the suspect after the man allegedly lunged at him.

37 comments

  • ANOTHERBOB

    I’m betting Christian Chichia won’t make that same mistake again. I’d call it a learning experience but I suppose you don’t get do-overs when you take up residence in the morgue.

  • Hank

    This is why we have the Second Amendment.

    Never forget: If many liberals had their way, none of us would have the right to arm ourselves.

    • Mikee

      I seriously doubt we have a 2nd Amendment to protect our homes from drunk neighbors that are confused about which house belongs to them. I could be wrong, but I have strong doubts that’s what the writers of the 2nd Amendment had in mind.

  • Kim

    Maybe those of ill-repute will begin to learn that the rest of us are tired of them riding rough-shod over us! It’s a type of culling the herd! If you’re stupid, you hopefully don’t live long enough to reproduce and pass the stupid gene on to another generation.

  • laytonian

    From all appearances, the “intruder” was actually a young man who had recently moved into a different apartment in that complex — and was confused (maybe drunk).
    Death penalty for confusion, when the occupant could easily have just called the police and walked out the door.

    • bob

      Yes, when someone kicks in your door you should wait and see if he’s going to kill you before you defend yourself.

      If Darwin was right, people like Laytonian will be left out of the gene pool.

      “Call the police and walk out the door”…..LOL! The words of a future chalk outline.

      • T

        If you actually knew your facts, Christian never broke in. The home owner opened the door to him. He didn’t deserve to die. He left behind a pregnant wife and two young children. He will be missed by many.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        T – A husband and father comes home drunk at 5:402 AM in the morning? Chichia forced the door, attempted to open it, and suffered the consequences.

      • T

        Anotherbob- he thought the house was his house. He walked one of his friends out to his car and was intoxicated and got confused on his way back. He didn’t force his way in. It clearly says the dumb homeowner opened the door to him. That was homeowners first mistake. Christian walked in thinking the house was his. Christian would not hurt anybody, it’s not in his nature. Maybe be a little sensitive to the ones he left behind. You don’t know the pain they are going threw.

      • bob

        T: That’s one theory. You have no idea why he forced his way in. And a homeowner doesn’t have to wait and see if the intruder’s intentions are violent.

        We will never know why he did it.

    • John

      Life’s a beeatch! Bread into, of try and force your way into my home…:Inwill not or do not have to guess your intentions. I have a lawful right, and a duty to protect my family!

    • ANOTHERBOB

      some people are willing to bet their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, to the magical powers of a cell phone to summon help. Apparently this homeowner was unwilling to take that gamble.

  • bob

    If you DO think it’s your own home why would you try to batter down the door?

    I don’t know what was going through his drunken mind, but I don’t really care either. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    • T

      You are so insensitive to someone who just lost his life for a mistake. Some people think everything they read on the media is true. Christian was an awesome dad, husband, friend and son. It truly is so sad! Insensitive people like you make this world a crappy place to live in.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        T – Awesome dads and husbands don’t come home drunk at 5:40 AM. It is unfortunate that Mr. Chichia made the choices that resulted in his death. There are consequences attached to the choices each of us make, and some cosequences are harsher than others.

  • Ameria

    Chichia had a wife and two sons…i know his wife…despite what happened today two little boys lost their father today. You could at least show a little compassion.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      This father had a responsibility to set a good example for his two little boys. They say his wife was expecting another child. All the more reason to be at home with her and their children at 5:40 AM in the morning.

  • laytonian

    The REAL question is why the renter/homeowner even opened the door.
    That’s as stupid as coming home drunk and getting confused.
    I hope the shooter is real proud of himself today, having killed a confused young man.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      LAYTONIAN – In my world I’m allowed to open my balcony door to see what the problem is. It could have been a woman in trouble and looking for help. Your excuses for the intoxicated intruder’s behavior just don’t cut it.

      Bottom line, Laytonian, is that if you have two young children and a pregnant wife you might want to rethink the idea of coming home drunk early in the morning.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Actually Laytonian is a she and not a he. What she fails to understand is that when seconds count the police are only minutes away.

  • bob

    All I can say is, if you’re staggering around drunk in my neighborhood I suggest you double-check the address before you barge in.

    Here’s a radical thought: Don’t stagger around drunk. Crazy, I know.

  • smarter than you

    Idiot, paranoid, trigger happy utards. A guy trying to get home dies for going in the next door neighbor’s and you’re happy about it? Your childish and unhealthy attachment to fear is just insecurity and you call it virtue. Go kill yourselves. No one will care.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      Sorry, SMARTER THAN YOU, but we’re not buying what you’re trying to sell. I and my family have constitutional right to our lives, the Founding Fathers provided the means whereby we can defend our lives, and if you don’t like it move to Chicago, Detroit or New York where you can’t protect yourself and there is no crime. (Yeah right!!)

      Meantime if you are a father of two and have one on the way stay off the booze and keep off of other people’s balconies. That’s a good way to get yourself shot.

  • Edwin Brightwell

    Well Christian knocked on the downstairs door and then proceeded to climb to the balcony, he must be able to hold his alcohol pretty good to not fall and break his neck from the climb, and then proceeded to force his way into the home after homeowner opened the door to talk to him, if he was concerned about his family he should had been home at 5:30 am not wandering streets intoxicated

  • Jason Mixon

    stupidity will get you killed, happens everyday. When you drink make sure you can find your house.
    I don’t see how they can blame the owner of the house, he was scared for his wife and himself.
    I think he did what he had to do.

  • Nick

    That is so sad for that person. To be killed because this poor soul was confused. Why didn’t the home owner just call the police. He he 2 times where he could call the police. Instead he armed himself with a hand gun to go down stairs Then to go back up to the balcony. Where he unlocked the glass door so he could talk to the man. It’s a glass sliding door. Why didn’t he just talk to him there in a calm voice why didn’t his wife call the police. But no he opened the door because is is powerful with a gun then shot him. Way to go. Guns need to be banned from the public and police. And we need to rewrite the constitution about guns

    • ANOTHERBOB

      A better question NICK might be why wasn’t the drunk intruder at home with his two sons and expentant wife? Had this drunk been behind the wheel of an automobile and killed an innocent motorist you wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

      I’ll be happy to give up my guns NICK just as soon as the very last crimimal gives up his. In the meantime just behavior yourself like a decent human being is expected to act and you won’t suffer a similar fate.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    NICK suggestion to ban guns “from the public and police” might not be such a bad idea. It would certainly make life a lot safer for the criminals. What NICK doesn’t understand is that the criminals might cheat and keep theirs.

    NCK represents the collective thinking of liberals who think outlawing guns will reduce crime in Chicago and New York where they already have strict gun control.

  • communication

    the man never tried to COMMUNICATE with the homeowner… he could want a glass of water or he could want to kill you. you just never know. if he wouldn’t say anything i would assume he was trying to kill me… in the end i would have shot him tooooooooooooooo.

  • mousekiller

    So many dont blame that poor poor drunk. Would you feel the same if that same drunk killed someone because he was drunk ? No difference. Stupid is stupid. He willingly drank himself into a stupor and willingly got him self killed because of his intentional drinking. You can’t fix stupid. Wait it was just fixed .Chlorine in that gene pool. Do something stupid and pay the price. No one else’s fault but theirs..

Comments are closed.