Man kills home invader

Police say victim tried to attack resident and his son

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A domestic dispute Sunday evening left a Moffat County man dead, shot twice by his former girlfriend's son in an incident police say was justifiable self-defense.

Craig police said the shooting occurred after the slain man, Mario Cruz Vigil, 60, broke into a home in the 800 block of Washington Street at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Vigil was armed with a .30-30-caliber rifle and had threatened the homeowner, Josh Jackson, and his 9-year-old son earlier in the day, police said.

Jackson, 33, called police and grabbed a shotgun when he heard Vigil breaking in, police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

Jackson shot Vigil once in the chest as Vigil entered the home, and he hid in a bedroom with his son, according to a statement from police.

The gunshot to the chest wounded Vigil but did not stop him, police said.

Vigil shot through the door of the room where Jackson and his son were hiding and tried to break down the door, police said.

Jackson grabbed another gun, a .30-06-caliber rifle, and shot twice, police said. The second shot through the door struck Vigil, police said.

Moffat County Coroner Owen Grant said Vigil was hit in the thigh, shredding an artery. The gunshot to the thigh was most likely the cause of death, Grant said. An autopsy being conducted today in Denver will determine the cause of death, Grant said.

When police arrived, they found Vigil dead, lying on the floor outside the bedroom, according to the statement.

Jackson and his son were hiding in the bedroom when police arrived, according to the statement.

Vanatta said Jackson and his son were not injured.

Police said Vigil had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier Sunday with his former girlfriend, who is Jackson's mother.

In that incident at a home northwest of Craig, Vigil fired one shot at his former girlfriend and threatened to hurt her family, police said.

Moffat County Sheriff's Sgt. K.C. Hume said Vigil lived on the same property as his former girlfriend, who is 52, but did not live in the same house.

Hume said authorities aren't sure what started Sunday's fight.

Deputies were responding to the incident in the county when Jackson called police, Hume said.

"It was clear from the dispatch traffic that the two incidents were related," Hume said.

Police said Monday that the investigation is continuing and will be referred to the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

District Attorney Bonnie Roesink could not be reached for comment Monday.

Vanatta said the evidence at the scene indicated that Jackson was trying to protect himself and his son when he shot Vigil.

No one answered knocks at Jackson's home Monday morning, where evidence tape covered the front door and shattered glass littered the front step.

Jackson's neighbor, Mike Stearns, 57, said when he heard four loud pops from the next-door house Sunday, he thought it was caused by the wind.

Stearns didn't know the noises he heard were gunshots until the police pulled up a few minutes later.

He said Sunday that it was unusual that Jackson's dogs were not barking, and a red truck was parked in front of the house.

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