Blood stained the front door and lawn of the west Pasco house where police say an intruder was shot to death by the homeowner early Friday morning.
Police found Stephan Sergio Aceves, 28, dead shortly after 2:30 a.m. in the yard near the front door of the house at 8011 Savary Drive. Aceves was reportedly trying to get into the house when he was shot by Rudy Ontiveros Jr., a nuclear plant security guard, who was home with his girlfriend and young children.
Police did not disclose the identity of the homeowner Friday. The Herald confirmed Ontiveros’ name through property records and social media.
Aceves was already dead by the time police arrived, saidPasco police Capt. Jim Raymond. Several shots had been fired from a handgun.
“Basically, (Aceves) was pounding on the door in the middle of the night,” Raymond said. “A woman went to call 911. The homeowner got up. (Aceves) made it inside. The confrontation took place inside the residence.”
Police said it doesn’t appear Aceves and Ontiveros knew each other and the apparent break-in may have been random.
Ontiveros was questioned by police after the shooting but was not arrested. The case will be sent to the Franklin County prosecutor for review for possible charges. The Franklin County coroner has scheduled an autopsy for Monday.
Ontiveros answered his door late Friday morning wearing rubber cleaning gloves and declined to talk about what happened.
Neighbors told the Herald that Ontiveros lives at the house, just off Road 68 near the water towers, with the woman and at least three small children, including a 6-month-old baby.
Barbara Brower-Jones, who lives next door, said she spoke with Ontiveros shortly after the incident. She and her husband did not hear any noises.
Ontiveros was awakened by someone trying to break down the door, Brower-Jones said. He told her he grabbed a gun, looked out the window and saw a man trying to hide near his front porch.
Ontiveros tried to warn the man that he had a gun, but “it didn’t seem to matter he had a gun,” Brower-Jones said. Somehow the door was opened, and Ontiveros told his neighbor Aceves lunged at him before he shot him.
Multiple neighbors reported hearing pounding and then four shots.
Brower-Jones said Ontiveros looked distressed as he told the story of what happened and was “emphatic” that he didn’t know the man.
“You could tell he had been through something traumatic just by his voice,” she said. “He was visibly shaken. It was obvious he felt extremely threatened.”
Neighbors described the family who lives there as hardworking, friendly and quiet. They moved into the neighborhood about a year ago.
Late Friday morning, three SUVs were parked in front of the green and brown house, which was decorated with Christmas lights, Valentine’s Day hearts on the window and a cross by the door. Assessor records show Ontiveros bought the house for almost $164,000 in April 2013.
Several neighbors who spoke with the Herald said if he felt threatened, he had the right to protect his family.
“The guy has kids. You can’t be messing around with someone’s family,” said Steve Crampton, who lives down the street. “I am sure there are a lot of people armed nowadays. You just never know.”
“The main thing is that he had the presence of mind to protect his family,” she said. “That takes a lot of courage and strength to protect your family like that. I don’t know how I would act in a situation like that.”
Other than some minor thefts recently in the neighborhood, people said Savary Drive is usually a quiet street where families know each other and people feel safe.
Neighbors were shocked when they saw the swarm of police cars that flooded their street early Friday. At least two neighbors said they now wanted to start a neighborhood watch program.
“It is just a really quiet neighborhood,” said Jeannine Hinckley, who lives across the street from Ontiveros. “I am just really surprised that something like this would happen.”
Mike Paoli, spokesman for Energy Northwest, confirmed Ontiveros is a security guard and has worked there five years.
All security guards at Energy Northwest are well trained, usually have a military or law enforcement background, and carry weapons while on duty, he said. They undergo stringent background checks every three years and have psychiatric evaluations.
The security guards at Energy Northwest are on par with any law enforcement agency in the nation, Paoli said.
“All of our nuclear security officers are trained to federal requirements to protect the plant from sabotage and just about anything you can think of,” he said.
-- Tyler Richardson: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Ty_richardson