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17 shots fired at West Lawn house after man yells out window at catalytic converter thieves

17 shots fired at house after man yells at catalytic converter thieves
17 shots fired at house after man yells at catalytic converter thieves 03:00

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Adrian Munoz heard something out the window of his West Lawn neighborhood house early Thursday – and he went and looked to find out what the commotion was.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, that almost cost Munoz his life. Thieves blasted his home with shot after shot.

A total of 17 bullets were fired into the house after Munoz got up and looked out the window in the middle of the night. He saw someone trying to steal a catalytic converter from a neighbor's car parked out front – and the violent response from the thieves left his entire family in fear.

"He heard a noise, about like a saw-saw noise – like cutting something - and he looked out the window and saw some guys right there cutting a catalytic converter on a car," said neighbor George Flores, interpreting for Munoz as he explained what happened in Spanish.

Munoz figured he'd try scaring the thieves.

"He tells them, 'Hey, what are you doing?'" Flores said, "and then as soon as he's done saying that, they started shooting."

Munoz's yells of, "Hey, what are you doing?" were captured on a neighbor's security camera along with the gunshots.

Munoz had a second to react. He quickly jumped on his bed and out of the line of fire. But those bullets went right into the bedroom wall, landing right in the living room.

Another video does not have audio, but it shows three guys with flashlights and guns at 69th Place and Lawndale Avenue. They are seen lurking around a car – and when the lights shine on Munoz's house, the shots go off.

"I don't think they were trying to scare him," Flores said.

Flores said the way the armed thieves stood on the block with the guns leads him to believe they had intent to harm anyone they confronted.

Given that they fired 17 shots, Flores said he is sure the thieves were trying to kill Munoz.

Thankfully, those shots did not hurt Munoz or the others sleeping in the house.

"He lives with his sister, his two nephews, and his brother," Flores said.

Flores believes the rosary over his bed protected him. Yet the bullet holes in the living room walls – not to mention the windows – are proof that these thieves meant business.

Still, neighbors can't understand the need to shoot for a catalytic converter.

"Just leave the things alone and go away," Flores said. "Why you got to shoot at people? It's crazy."

Neighbors said in the past two months, thieves have stolen catalytic converters from three vehicles in the area. It is an area where many people park on the streets.

But the neighbors never imagined it would get this bad.

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