He’s 70 years old, and his health isn’t what it used to be, but Raymond Michel is not someone who should be taken lightly.

The south Bakersfield resident shot at a suspected burglar in his house Wednesday afternoon and held the man at gunpoint until police arrived. The suspect, identified by police as John Jenaro Garner, tried to get up twice, but Michel warned him to stay down.

“I told my wife to call the cops because (the burglar) was staying here one way or another,” Michel said.

Bakersfield police Lt. Andrew Garner, no relation to the supsect, confirmed that Raymond Michel was the man who shot at the suspect.

Michel and his wife, Dawn, had returned home on Ivan Avenue about 1 p.m. after taking their grandson to a doctor’s appointment. The 9-year-old grandson noticed a light on in a downstairs bedroom and asked his grandmother if she had left it on.

Dawn Michel said she looked in the room and noticed some items weren’t where they were supposed to be. Then she and her grandson went outside and saw a garbage bag on the ground, along with a window screen that had been knocked out of a second-floor window. Jewelry and money were in the bag.

Dawn Michel told her husband someone had been in the house. Raymond Michel said he armed himself with a handgun and walked upstairs.

Items from the bedroom closet were strewn about the floor, and Raymond Michel noticed that the bathroom door was almost completely closed. He and his wife always keep that door open.

He kicked the door, and it stopped partway as it struck the intruder, Raymond Michel said. The suspect stepped from behind the door and leveled a rifle at the homeowner, he said.

Raymond Michel, who said he was holding his handgun at waist level, pulled the trigger. The bullet went through the door, shattered the upper left corner of the mirror and entered the wall.

The suspect dropped to the floor, and Raymond Michel at first thought he had hit him. But then the intruder tried to get up, Raymond Michel said.

Raymond Michel said he told him to stay down and kept the gun pointed at him. His wife called 911.

The dispatcher asked Dawn Michel, who was still downstairs, if she could go upstairs and make sure her husband was all right, Dawn Michel said. But she had two grandchildren in the house who she needed to keep safe, and she wasn’t going anywhere until police arrived.

Read the rest of Jason Kotowski’s article at

Up Next

Tractor-trailer hauling ammunition overturns on Missouri highway.

He's 70 years old, and his health isn't what it used to be, but…