The homeowner who shot and killed 19-year-old Matthew Sykora during an alleged home invasion on the morning of May 27 said he was sleeping in the house with his wife and 2-year-old daughter when he was awoken by his dogs barking loudly inside the residence, according to a recently obtained report from the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.
The report also states that the homeowner said he then checked his cell phone, because it is connected to the home's alarm system, and noticed that the motion sensor on the second floor was going off. He said at that time, he didn't think much of it because he thought they had been set off by some air balloons that were moving around.
It wasn't until the motion sensors upstairs had been set off for a second time that the homeowner said he got out of bed, grabbed a firearm and went to investigate. At that point, the homeowner said he could hear a man's voice talking upstairs. Turning on the lights to the second floor, the homeowner says he slowly walked up to the top of the staircase, where he saw a young male, later identified as Sykora, walking around and talking to himself.
According to the report, the homeowner told deputies that he asked the young male what he was doing inside the home, to which he responded, “This is my house and these are my dogs.” The young man, according to the homeowner, was also talking about God, saying he was after him and wanted to take him away.
The homeowner stated that Sykora walked toward him and grabbed him on the shoulder. After pushing Sykora back, the homeowner said he warned him to stay away or he would have to shoot him. At that point the homeowner said Sykora came toward him again, and that is when he shot him once in the chest at close range.
After the shooting, the homeowner said he then went back downstairs and his wife called 911 asking for help. He said they remained in the living room until deputies arrived. Once on scene of the home, which is located in the 14000 block of Avenue D, deputies found Sykora's body inside a room on the second floor.
Information about the type of firearm used in the shooting or where the bullet entered his chest was not included in the report. The homeowner later told deputies that he did not know Sykora.
The sheriff's office has turned the findings of its investigation into the incident earlier this month to the Yuma County Attorney's Office for review to determine whether any charges will be filed or if the shooting should be considered a justified homicide.
The sheriff's office, however, recommended that no criminal charges be filed against the homeowner. The Yuma County Attorney's Office is still reviewing the report and has not made a determination as of yet.
Also according to the report there were two cars in the homeowner's driveway the morning of the shooting, one of which did not belong him. The homeowner told deputies he did not know who the other car – which was later towed from the scene – belonged to.
Detectives believe Sykora may have made entry into the residence through a doggy door.
The name of the homeowner has not been made public because he is considered a victim in the incident. However, if charges are ever filed his name would become public because he would then be considered a suspect in a crime, YCSO said.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.