The man charged with murder after a shooting in Milton, Ont., over the weekend was protecting his mother from an intruder who broke into his home, his lawyer says.
In a brief statement sent to Global News, Jag Virk said his 22-year-old client “is a registered firearm owner and used his gun legally against an armed intruder.”
Halton Regional Police previously said that at around 5 a.m. on Sunday, a group of suspects approached a home on Gibson Crescent in Milton with the intent of committing a robbery.
“Upon entering the residence, they were confronted by an occupant and a number of gunshots were fired within the home,” police said.
One person, who hasn’t been identified, died at the scene and two others were arrested when officers arrived.
Oshawa resident Romario Clarke, 20, was charged with one count of break and enter and one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm.
Police said 22-year-old Milton resident Ali Mian was charged with one count of second-degree murder.
Virk alleges that the person shot dead “broke into (Mian’s) home and attacked his mother.”
“He shouldn’t be charged with murder for protecting his mother from someone that broke into his home,” Virk said.
“His intention was not to kill the intruder — he only shot at him once. We are all saddened that the intruder passed away as a result of being shot.”
In an interview, Virk repeated that his client “wasn’t trying to kill anybody” and was acting in self-defence.
“It’s a home invasion, it happens all the time, houses get robbed all the time,” he said, disputing a previous statement from Halton police on Sunday which said the incident was targeted.
“The shooting was isolated to the home and appears to be targeted,” police said in a media release.
One neighbour told Global News they heard one shot, then a pause and three more shots. They said a few days before people had been in the backyard of the home and had startled a dog, which had stopped the alleged intruders.
They said that Mian’s mother was warning other locals to be on the lookout for potential break-ins and robberies.
Another neighbour said “some guys” were trying to enter the home. They said they were aware because movement had triggered their backyard camera. They said they found the events “shocking.”
Halton police told Global News that no break-in had been reported at the address but that, on Feb. 14, there were reports of a suspicious person.
“Police are looking into any connection between the two incidents as part of the investigation,” a spokesperson said.
Some in the area said they knew Mian owned a gun, while others did not.
Meanwhile, Halton police’s investigation is ongoing and police said they’re looking for information on three outstanding suspects who fled the scene in a vehicle believed to be a light-coloured Dodge Charger with a sunroof.