During Confrontation, Elderly Johnson Valley Man Kills His Middle-Age Son

A 72-year-old Johnson Valley man on Monday fatally shot his 43-year-old son in what authorities gave preliminary indication they believe to have been a justifiable homicide.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Keith Putz Sr. called 911 at 8:23 a.m. on December 23,and said he had just killed his son, Keith Putz Jr.
The shooting occurred a day after the younger man, on Sunday December 22, had burglarized his father’s home in the 5900 block of Kickapoo Trail. Keith Putz Jr. then came to his father’s home in the early morning hours on Monday and stole his father’s vehicle. Keith Putz Sr. called authorities to report the theft. A California Highway Patrolman for a time caught sight of the vehicle and gave chase, but Keith Putz Jr. managed to elude the pursuit.
According to a statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, “Homicide Detectives responded to conduct the investigation. Through investigation, detectives learned on December 22nd, the victim burglarized the suspects’ home.  In the early morning hours of December 23rd, the victim stole the suspects’ vehicle and was involved in a pursuit with CHP; however, he was able to avoid arrest.  The victim returned to the suspect’s home upset because he had called law enforcement regarding the two prior incidents.  The suspect and the victim were involved in an argument, the victim threatened to kill the suspect, and after the altercation, the suspect shot and killed the victim.”
Despite the sheriff’s department’s reference to Putz Sr. as a “suspect,” the sheriff’s department so far has found no grounds to conclude the shooting qualified as a criminal act. “No arrests have been made; the investigation is ongoing,” according to the sheriff’s department. “Upon completion, the report will be submitted to the district attorney’s office for review.”
Further investigation into the matter is being handled by a team that includes specialized detectives from the sheriff’s department homicide detail, which includes Sergeant A.J. Gibilterra and Detective Bruce Southworth.

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