An East Islip man surprised a trio of armed burglars early yesterday morning, fatally shooting one of them and critically injuring another while the third fled the scene.
The drama unfolded a little after midnight Wednesday when three burglars broke down the back door of a two-story home at 60 E. Adams St. Armed with a .22 caliber rifle, the suspects shot a pet pit bull twice, police said.
A man renting the ground floor of the home confronted the intruders and shot two with his shotgun, according to police. One was declared dead at the scene and the other alleged burglar, later identified as Justin Benkov, 25, of Mastic Beach, was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was listed in critical condition.
The third suspect was located a short time later at a 7-Eleven convenience store, about a mile away on Carleton Avenue.
“He came in and bought an AriZona iced tea,” said cashier Cookee Waquar. “He was about to get into his car when about six cops surrounded him. They told him to drop his pants; I think they were looking for a gun. Then they put handcuffs on him and drove him away.”
“It’s horrible what happened. My son could have been killed,” Rachel, the upstairs tenant of 60 E. Adams, told Metro. She declined to give her last name. “Maybe they’ll think twice before coming back here.”
Police did not release the name of the man whose home was invaded. His dog survived.