An unidentified North American survived a violent home invasion Sunday night, and one of the intruders died in a firefight.
The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the death followed a shootout between a neighbor and the intruders. The scene was in a home in the upscale Barrio Mercedes section of Atenas, about five minutes from the center of town.
The dead man was still unidentified. Agents said he was about 25. A second assailant is believed to have suffered a bullet wound in the leg.
The intruders were heavily armed, said judicial agents. The men broke into the home through locked gates and a door to confront the North American occupant who was reported alone in the dwelling. That was about 8 p.m.
Judicial police said that a neighbor saw what transpired and began shooting at the intruders to cause them to flee.
Unofficial reports credited the fatal shot to the homeowner victim.
Judicial police said that the neighbor exchanged shots with the intruders and hit one in the chest. The three companions fled, they said.
Home invasions are reaching epidemic proportions in the areas outside the Central Valley. Crooks find the pickings easier when the homes are isolated.
Frequent targets are homes in sections with substantial expat populations. Homes in Barrio Mercedes range up to $600,000 or more.
Some police sources estimated that there are three or four such invasions every night, although not every one makes the news.