Home-invasion victim shoots suspect dead April Hunt | Sentinel Staff Writer June 22, 2007 The victims of a violent home invasion early Thursday turned the table on their attackers, killing one of the suspects with an assault rifle and stabbing another. Three armed men stormed through the unlocked front door of the home on Muscatello Street in the Peppermill subdivision near Hunter's Creek at about midnight. The five men and one woman who live there, most of whom are students at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, scattered as the suspects began ransacking the home, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. One of the victims grabbed an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle and hid in a closet. When he heard one of the gunmen fire two rounds into the house and then try to force his way into the closet, the victim fired three shots through the closet door and killed the 21-year-old suspect, authorities said. "He did everything possible to avoid a physical confrontation. The last thing he wanted to do was kill somebody," Deputy Sheriff Carlos Padilla said. "Deep down in his heart, he felt his friends were getting killed." During the confrontation, another of the victims managed to stab one of the two other suspects as they fled. All three of the suspects covered their faces during the crime and carried at least two weapons. The dead suspect, whose name has not been released, dropped a handgun when he was shot. The others left behind one other handgun, Padilla said. None of the victims was injured, although Padilla described the shooter as distraught at having taken the suspect's life. Deputies did not find any drugs in the house and are unsure why the gunmen targeted the home. A search team and K-9 unit were unable to find the other suspects in the invasion. The incident remains under investigation. The showdown is the third time this week that intended victims fought back against their attackers in Orange County. Sunday morning, a man drew his concealed 9 mm pistol, but did not fire, to escape a confrontation with two shotgun-wielding assailants on the east side of Kirkman Road, across the street from the MetroWest neighborhood. Early Tuesday, a man grabbed for and eventually wrested away the .40-caliber handgun that a carjacker used to hold him up. The gun discharged during the struggle, but no one was hurt.