A Tulsa man has a brush with death in his own home. Ernesto Mondragon found a burglar in his east Tulsa home last week. The startled suspect shot Ernesto and is still on the loose. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca spoke exclusively with Ernesto about his ordeal. He reports Mondragon is dealing with more than physical injuries.
A bullet almost killed Ernesto Mondragon. Instead, it shattered the feeling of safety in his home.
Last week Ernesto found his front door kicked in. He thought his teenage son had just gotten a little rowdy, but when he opened the door to his room he saw someone in the closet.
"I thought it was my boy. And I said "Hey, what are you doing there?" I know you're a senior, I know you're skipping class, I know you have a week left before you graduate, what are you doing home?" said Tulsa resident Ernesto Mondragon.
But it wasn't his son. Ernesto had startled a burglar, and now the man was aiming a gun at him. When Ernesto saw the man had a weapon, he closed the door and leaned back on it trying to lock the suspect inside the room. That's when the man got his gun, held it to the door, and shot once, hitting Ernesto in the shoulder.
"I heard a loud pop. It sounded like a big firecracker went off. It didn't sound right to me. The next thing I feel was a stinging or a burn on the shoulder," Mondragon said.
Doctor's say he's lucky. The bullet lodged in his body, but missed vital organs and veins.
Still in intense pain Ernesto managed to call 911 and ran out the front door. Police and the SWAT team arrived quickly and surrounded the house. Officers tried to flush the suspect out by firing around 12 tear-gas canisters into the house, but the man had escaped.
Back inside Ernesto and his family didn't find anything missing. But he has an idea of what the burglar was looking for.
"Probably easy money. That's the only thing I can say. Cash,â€ said Mondragon. â€œAnd contrary to popular belief all Hispanics do not carry cash in their homes. My 4-cents are in the bank."
For years Ernesto has been heavily involved in the East Central High School community, and he serves on the Mayor's Hispanic Affairs Commission. Now all the people he's helped are giving back.
"I'm here to help the community. I'm not used to being on the receiving end. And my wife and I are kind of overwhelmed," Mondragon said.
Ernesto's house was damaged by the gas cans the SWAT team shot into the home. In fact, tear gas fumes were so bad the family had to stay in a motel while they aired out the rooms for a few days. Ernesto's not mad at all, and say's he's thankful for the work the police did. But all the walls, dishes and carpets and furniture will have to be professionally cleaned.
The principal at East Central High School has set up an account to help the Mondragonâ€™s out. If youâ€™d like to donate you can do so through the Tom Oâ€™Malley for the Benefit of Mondragon Family, at Spirit Bank, 9134 East 46th, Tulsa Oklahoma 74145, Account #12134391.
Watch the video: Burglar Shoots Homeowner
WEB EXTRA: Damage In Mondragon's Home