Victorville, California

From the Daily Press of September 25, 2007

Shootout in garage

Roger Gilchrist woke from a dead sleep when he heard his pregnant wife screaming for her life, as she honked her car horn incessantly in their garage.

He grabbed his gun.

It wasn’t 20 seconds after his wife pulled in and saw a masked gunman standing near her vehicle that gunfire erupted at point-blank range, the couple said.

“Under the circumstances, with him having a gun and standing next to my pregnant wife, I’m not going to wait and see what happens — I’m going to fire,” Gilchrist said.

Officials said the crook shot first, and Gilchrist returned fire. About 10 rounds were let off in the confines of the garage, officials said.

“I hit him once, and then I heard the click, click, click, and I knew he was out of ammunition,” Gilchrist said.

His wife, who asked not to be identified by first name, said those “clicks” were aimed at her head from about three feet away.

“I told him I was pregnant and not to hurt me, and he said he wasn’t going to. But when he got shot, there is no doubt in my mind that he decided he was going to kill me — only he was out of bullets,” she said.

Authorities said that around 12:30 a.m. Sunday they responded to a call of shots heard in the 12400 block of Blazing Star Way.

When they arrived they saw a garage door lying in the street behind a car with shot out windows and a trail of blood.

Apparently, Gilchrist was screaming at the intruder — later identified as Timothy Finney, 35, of Rialto — to get out of the house, but Finney responded that he couldn’t, said Deputy Bob Thacker of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station.

Gilchrist’s wife then put her car in reverse and slammed through the garage door, allowing Finney to run out, and escape in a white PT Cruiser, officials said.

It all happened in less than a few minutes, but now the events of those few minutes will stay with the family for the rest of their lives.

“It’s such a violation, it’s really indescribable,” the female victim said. “Reality still hasn’t set in, I still haven’t cried, I’m still in shock.”

Deputy District Attorney Britt Imes on Tuesday said … that no charges are to be filed against Gilchrist for the shooting.



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