Two masked men who forced their way into a Dorchester apartment this morning were met by an armed resident who opened fire, killing one and chasing the other out of the building, where police arrested him, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said today.

Boston, Massachusetts -- 01/15/14 -- A view of 85 Esmond Street in Dorchester, where a homicide occurred on January 15, 2014. (Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe)
The building at 85 Esmond St. (Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe)
The Boston Globe

“The suspects came into the apartment masked,’’ Evans told reporters at the scene. “The homeowner also had a firearm and shot one of the suspects dead.”

Police responding to the scene shortly after 9 a.m. saw the second suspect fleeing down Esmond Street, still carrying a gun he had allegedly brandished moments earlier inside the apartment building. He was arrested nearby.

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“Our guys were in the right place at the right time,’’ said Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross. “What’s important here is to note that we have all involved parties accounted for.”

The surviving home invader is under arrest and may appear in a Boston courtroom later today.

The resident at 85 Esmond St. is also in custody, but has not yet been charged with any crime because police are trying to determine if he was licensed to possess a firearm, according to Evans and Gross.

The invader who was shot ran from the apartment but collapsed on the front steps of the building, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

A motive for the incident is under investigation, but police said they believe the parties were known to each other.

Police notified the Salvation Army’s Children Learning Center on nearby Wales Street about the incident. A staffer there said in a brief telephone interview that the shooting has not impacted their program. “Everything is OK here,’’ the staffer said. “No problem.’’

Police have closed Esmond Street while they investigate.

“We don’t believe anyone is on the loose,’’ Evans said. “It was good work by the officers getting that second suspect and being in the right spot at the right time.”

The shooting of the intruder by the resident, while it may not result in homicide charges, was the fourth slaying in Boston so far this year, and the second in less than 24 hours.

Boston police said today that the third homicide had happened at about 5:57 p.m. Tuesday. Police responded to a report of a person shot at 996 Tremont St. When officers arrived, they learned that the victim, a male in his 30s, had been transported from the scene in a personal vehicle. Suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, he was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police asked for anyone with information on the slaying to contact homicide detectives at 617-343-4470.