Police say it was likely an attempted burglary, but the tenant was in his apartment alone when the intruder tried to break in.
Police say when the tenant in apartment 124 looked through his peephole and saw someone trying to break in, he immediately went to his bedroom and grabbed his gun.
"By the time he makes it back to the front door, he is confronted by the suspect who is now inside of his house. The suspect engages in a physical altercation with our resident. During the altercation, the resident loses control of the firearm," said Pittsburg Police Lt. Ron Raman.
But the tenant managed to grab a knife and stab the intruder in the neck, killing him. Police say the intruder was a 54-year-old Pittsburg man with an extensive criminal history.
"It does definitely appear that the home owner was acting in self-defense," said Raman.
"Well, he shouldn't have been breaking into his house," said one apartment resident.
There didn't seem to be much sympathy for the dead man at the Villa Serena Apartments. Residents say it's been relatively safe here, but now there's some concern.
"It looks like that's what I'm going to have to do the next time somebody come up in my house," said another resident. "You know times are rough nowadays, so… it seems like they don't even care if you're there or not, so."
With crime on the rise, the thought of taking the law into their own hands is something many at the complex are contemplating, especially because they can relate to their neighbor who fought back.
"He's a very nice guy. I see him every day take his kids to school, drop them off. He's with his kids a lot. Family oriented I guess, but he's a really nice guy," said one neighbor.
Police say the intruder also had a gun that turned out to be a fake one. They also arrested two other people nearby who they believe have some connection to the intruder.