by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:
MONROE, N.C. - Three men are accused of breaking into an apartment in Monroe and shooting a father on Sunday morning. Instead of spending Christmas at home gathered around the tree, the father is now at CMC Main.
"It could happen to anybody," neighbor Reba Gonzalez. "You're asleep at night and someone just busts in your house. And your kids are there."
Police say three men in their late teens or early 20s broke into the apartment home on Sunset Drive in Monroe. The father was sleeping on the couch when the men came through the back door.
"He confronted them because his family was upstairs," Capt. Beth Greene, with Monroe Police, said. "At that time, there was three shots fired."
One of those shots hit him in the stomach. The criminals ran off, but the victim was left fighting for his life. Police say he's already undergone surgery at CMC Main and has been listed in stable condition.
"At least he protected his family," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez lives a few doors down from the family and knows the victim's girlfriend and kids. She says the family hasn't been home since the crime, and she's sad that the father will be spending the holidays in the hospital. She called the crime "ridiculous."
"It's crazy how people just run up in people's homes and do stuff like that," Gonzalez said.
The men who broke in are still out there.
"Unfortunately things like this happen at Christmas time," Greene said.
If you have any information about the crime, you're urged to call Monroe Police.