TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - When Eric Jaramillo came home Saturday, he never thought within minutes that he’d be fighting for his life.
He said the suspect police now have in custody, 22 year-old Derrick Walker, was walking through the neighborhood.
Altamease Sentmanat, who lives down the street from Jaramillo, saw him first.
“He came over, asking questions about how do you get to the Circle K,” Sentmanat said.
She gave him directions, but says he seemed “off.”
“He seemed shaky," she recalled. "His voice was shaky, he seemed fidgety. He was looking around.”
Sentmanat said Walker continued down the street, where Jaramillo had just pulled in, and was getting the mail.
“And he’s at my friend’s car, and he says, 'How you doing sir?' And I said, 'Hey what’s up?'" Jaramillo explained.
The conversation ended there, but Jaramillo knew something felt wrong. He'd worked in security for years and was trained to know when someone could potentially be a threat. He said in this case, his red flags sounded.
“I had my keys in the door handle, I heard him running towards me, I heard him running at me. And at that point, I’m already almost inside the house," he said.
Jaramillo was able to close the door, but he said the suspect was right on the other side.
“I braced the door with my leg, locked the bottom door lock," he explained. "I was going for the second lock, and that’s when he shot, and I hit the ground. I hit the deck, and I just braced the door."
At first, he thought the bullet hit him.
“I felt the heat, and all I could think about was my wife and daughter," Jaramillo said through tears.
His family was just steps away.
“My daughter was right here. The windows were open, the blinds were open. She saw the whole thing," he said.
The bullet shot through the glass and into the family room.
“I didn’t know where he went, I didn’t know if he was going to go through the back of the house, and you know, we’ve got sliding glass doors. I had no idea.”
Deputies say Walker took off with his 9mm hand-gun, and tried to rob a second home, pointing his gun at the person, who then quickly shut and locked the door. When deputies arrived, they say Walker tried to run, but law enforcement caught and arrested him.
Jaramillo is thankful there was no more gunfire.
“They got him. I’m just glad it ended with me. And no one else got hurt,” he said.