Man speaks about shooting would-be burglar

Kristin Thorne reports from Hungtington Station.
March 6, 2014 3:46:25 PM PST
On Long Island, a man charged with shooting and killing a would-be burglar is speaking out.

He says he was only defending his family.

He says video taken by surveillance cameras at the home proves one of the intruders fired first.

It happened in Huntington Station in Suffolk County.

"I honestly did what I did in defense of myself and my brothers and my family. I meant to do no harm to nobody," said Youssef Abdelgawad, a Huntington Station resident.

But 25-year-old Youssef Abdelgawad says this situation came to him.

A group of men, one of them armed with a pellet gun, tried to break into his house last August.

It's unclear if a flash of light is from the pellet gun.

But Abdelgawad says he heard a shot fired into his house and that's when he grabbed a shotgun.

"I made it to the backdoor and thank God, I see my brother and my friend still standing alive and well," Abdelgawad said.

Abdelgawad says he ran out of the house and saw the men running away, he says one of them fired at him.

"And that's when I decided to take my first shot back in response," Abdelgawad said.

But prosecutors say Abdelgawad chased the men into a neighbor's yard and then fired the fatal shots.

Police later found the body of a 33-year-old man in a nearby car.

He had been shot in the back.

"This is not a light weight that I carry on, but I know in my heart that I was doing the right thing trying to protect my home, my family, and my mother," Abdelgawad said.

"He's going to fight this 100 percent ready to go," said Matt Tuohy, defense attorney said of the manslaughter charge.

He has no choice because you see Abdelgawad has things he wants to do with his life.

He's studying criminal justice and recently passed the NYPD entrance exam with flying colors.

"These charges have literally devastated me and everything I've worked for this far," Abdelgawad said.

Prosecutors say that the would-be burglar never fired.

Police searched the house and didn't find any evidence of bullet holes.