(LAWRENCE) -The stage at the Oakland VFW branch contained Samuel Martinez' dress uniform and a photo of the former U.S. Army specialist. Scattered throughout the dozens of people attending the memorial service were military men and women who served with Martinez in Iraq and Kuwait.
Russ McQuaid, of Fox59 reports, they were shocked he survived the war only to come home and die defending himself and his family against a trio of home invasion robbers.
Before dawn on October 6th, metro police say Martinez was asleep in the living room of his southeast side apartment when three men burst in looking for guns and money. Also in the apartment were two women and a two-year-old child.
According to Cori Martinez, Sam's sister, his first instinct was to protect the girls his nephew that were with him.
Police say as the robbers ransacked the apartment, Martinez worked himself free from his bindings. He retrieved a gun and fired one shot, striking one of the robbers before being fatally wounded himself.
Detectives tracked one of Martinez' alleged assailants to Community East Hospital where he was being treated for a gunshot wound.
Two other suspects were picked up after police discovered a robber's cell phone at the murder scene.
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