Defensive Gun Use of the Day: San Antonio Home Owner

When an un-named San Antonio homeowner heard two home invaders breaking in through his garage – after a 5:00 a.m. knock at the door – he was already holding a shotgun. One of the bad guys had an AR. And that’s when, according to, a full-blown firefight broke out in the kitchen. The homeowner was hit once, but he definitely go the best of the situation. . .

Police said the man met two suspects, armed with a AR-15 assault rifle, in the kitchen and began shooting.

One of the suspects was fatally shot, police said, while the other ran out of the house after being shot in the chest. He ran to a get away vehicle where a woman described as his girlfriend drove him to nearby Northeast Baptist Hospital.

The surviving scumbag took a shotgun blast to the chest and is apparently touch-and-go. His gun moll/girlfriend will probably face charges whether he survives or not. But here’s the good news:

The alleged victim, 28, is not expected to face criminal charges under the Texas Castle Doctrine which allows a homeowner to use deadly force to protect their property. However, the results still have to be submitted to the Bexar County District Attorney’s office and a grand jury for review.


  1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

    I just accepted a job offer for a position in San Antonio.

    So on the one hand, I’m happy that if I shoot an intruder in the face I’m covered.

    But on the other hand the fact that someone was sneaking around SA with an AR breaking into houses is a bit unsettling.

    1. Congrats on the new gig. And bring a shotgun.

    2. avatar NR says:

      But on the other hand the fact that someone was sneaking around SA with an AR breaking into houses is a bit unsettling.

      Operative word there is “was”.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:


    3. avatar DrewR55 says:

      If it makes you feel any better the AR was probably stolen from a legal gun owner. After all, that’s the only way he could have gotten it, right?

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Not if he knows people at ATF.

    4. avatar CarlosT says:

      1. Congrats. I’m looking forward to future posts about wild hog hunting and bacon.

      2. Maybe it’s time for another post about home carry and fast access safe options? GunVault just came out with one that I’ve been curious about and it would be cool to see a TTAG gear review on it.

      3. Maybe you can join Tyler on his quest for the CHL? I don’t know what the residency period is, but carrying is always a good idea, and since the two of you are going to be close-ish…

    5. avatar hualosman says:

      Man, TTAGers are taking over Texas. I just moved down to Houston. No crazy AR guys here…yet.

    6. avatar Randomhero says:

      Well the city is mostly a decent place. Congrats on the job. There is a monthly gun show too, should you feel the need to purchase more toys.

    7. avatar Graybeard says:

      Congratulations on the new gig.

      San Antone (as we say here) is not a bad city – not any worse most and a lot better than a bunch of ’em. As in any place, you’ll have some folks who need a shotgun to the chest – but not often.

      As for the ARs, they were either F&F or stolen (if that’s not redundant) I’d bet.

      Friend of mine, some years ago, traded in her SUV to a dealer in San Antone. Some months later the FBI came knocking. They’d found her SUV, still in her name (never a title transfer), in a garage in Iraq being prepped for a car bomb. They asked her how it got there.

      She gave names quickly on who the used-car dealer was!

      But you’ll love the River Walk, the Mission Trail, the hunting, the outdoors activities. Maybe not the August/September heat and, if things don’t change, you sure won’t like the drought we’re in the middle of. But it’s a good place.

    8. avatar Brandon says:

      You couldn’t pay me enough to live in S.A….buy hey, at least it’s not Houston.

    9. avatar Ron says:

      Where are you moving from Nick?
      If you don’t have to concern yourself with the possibility of an armed break-in, I may be interested in your current home.

    10. avatar Ben says:


  2. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    I can almost see the mainstream press gnawing at the story. A-ha! Another evil person committing crime with an eeevil assault rifle! Who was.. then.. shot by the home owner.. with another.. damnit.

    Another good reason to have a security camera of some sort.

  3. avatar Derek says:

    Imagine my surprise when I looked up California Castle Doctrine and saw we actually have one.

    1. avatar Todd94590 says:

      Derek- would you please share both what you found & where you found it??

      (maybe sent via email todd94590 at yahoo)

      1. avatar Enchilada says:

        198.5. Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.
        As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.”

  4. avatar Eric says:

    I always think there is more to most of these stories than we know. Back story in other words.

    1. avatar NxSW says:

      That’s what I was thinking. It’s pretty unusual for two late night burglars to have ARs, so it got me wondering what “history” the three people involved might have.

      1. avatar NR says:

        Your screen-name cracks me up.

        That is all.

  5. avatar DrewR55 says:

    So much for the debate over the best home defense long gun. I’ll see your AR and raise you a 12 gauge.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      That was my thought also… though of course one incident is not definitive.

      The AR’s have a range advantage over shotguns, which isn’t really something most home defense shootings call for. (I said most!)

      At closer ranges the shot gun is much more effective assuming an unarmored attacker.

      Now if you’re planning on engaging 20 armored attackers from 100 yards away, then I would say go AR. Otherwise you could get 3 870’s for the price of one AR, and you would not be under-gunned.

      I don’t have an AR anymore but I still want one because they are fun.

      For defending my house, I like my 870.


      1. avatar DrewR55 says:

        Oh, I agree completely. And I don’t mean to sound like I am coming down on the Black Beauty. I think every house should have both, in multiple renditions.

      2. avatar Guywithagun says:

        You don’t have to choose. Get both. If you can’t afford the AR, can you afford life insurance?

      3. avatar Darren says:

        Not really sure how anything short of level IV body armor would do against a 12 ga slug at home ranges. That is sure a lot of KE to dissipate, although the area of a .729 diameter slug would seem to give the kevlar/Spectra more to hang on to. The vest might keep it from penetrating, but the chest deformity is going to be spectacular behind the vest. Broken ribs, pulmonary hemorrhages, bruised myocardium, etc. A 429gr slug at 1600+fps is a lot for most vests to deal with.

        Plus, if someone with a vest takes buckshot to the chest and is still standing, the next thing to do is to blow their bladder out their backside with the second round. Try standing with your pelvis in five pieces.

        1. avatar matt says:

          A damaged level 3a vest will catch a 12 gauge slug, the backface deformation is the size of a fist. The box-o-truth did a test:
          buckshot –
          slug –
          I’m assuming level 3/4 plates would be very effective at stopping slugs. If your dealing with armored targets a rifle is still the way to go.

          “Plus, if someone with a vest takes buckshot to the chest and is still standing, the next thing to do is to blow their bladder out their backside with the second round.”

        2. avatar Chris says:

          You’re correct… I was considering penetration of armor, but the energy delivery of a slug will still leave a bad guy in a bad way.

      4. avatar Todd94590 says:

        my 870 comes in the 16ga flavor.
        given the floor plan, no shot will be over 15-20 feet. walls are lathe & plaster. when ‘that day (night)’ comes, I’m not sure which one I’ll reach for.

        the 12ga is of the Mossberg variety, with pistol grip & short barrel

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          Load up with #4 buck. Less (although admittedly non-zero) risk of overpenetration.

        2. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Call 911. Throw sown the phone. Use a handgun. (I favor a nice big fat relatively slow .45.) Get family behind you. Grab shotgun. Penetration issues solved. Well, for some…

        3. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          I agree completely. However, people living in townhomes and apartments have more to worry about than just their own family.

        4. avatar Todd94590 says:

          there is more to the story– handgun is HK Compact .45 ACP USP e-i-e-i-o. bought it about 8 years ago, and bought a laser made by HK at the same time. that think was frickin’ expensive… think somewhere in the $400 range for the laser (but it does say HK on it) and it takes up the entire rail from front of trigger guard to the barrel.

          My thinking, at the time, was that if BG sees a red dot on him, he’s more motivated to cease….. or run away quickly.I have 4 magazines, one of them for ‘home protection load’ only (other 3 I use @ outdoor range). Winchester hollow points, if they’re ever needed. I do appreciate the suggestion for #4 buck for shotgun. thanks.

          why’d I get the HK…. because I suck, and they hate me, would be the obvious answer, but I give more points to the sales guy in the gun store, as it was between that and a Glock. getting off topic, so will shut up now.

        5. avatar Chris says:

          I’m not convinced that bad guys see lasers on them. A person comiting a crime is in a very hyperaware mental state but they are focused on the intended victim and what’s going on around them.

          It doesn’t seem very likely that they’ll take the time to notice a tiny red (or green) dot on their shirt, particularly when there is a .45 caliber hole being pointed at them.

          The idea that a bad guy will retreat because of a laser seems very Hollywood to me.

          As a training device they are neat, as an aiming device in low light they work OK, but I don’t see them as an effective deterrent.

          Also if you’re at the point of aiming a laser at an attackers chest, don’t wait for them to work out what’s going on, just shoot them. Otherwise you probably shouldn’t be pointing a gun at them yet.

        6. avatar NR says:

          BG doesn’t need to stare down at his chest to see the laser, and it doesn’t have to be shining in his eyes either. It’ll be almost as visible as a flashlight.

          That said, don’t count on a laser to act as a deterrent, any more than you should count on the sound of racking the slide or anything else that isn’t lead. And don’t even count on that until it makes contact.

        7. avatar Tim McNabb says:

          Who is sown and why are you throwing him the phone?

        8. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          Okay, I laughed at that one. Nice shot, Tim.

        9. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Tough room.

      5. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Agree the pistol is first, standard capacity: I think the point of the shotgun is missed, regarding your comment “assuming an unarmored attacker.” While you do need to aim (or accurately point…) a shotgun, you do get some spread, allowance for error at speed. Contrary to the NRA-awarded wonder-wad defensive rounds which for me don’t spread a bit at 12 yards, old fashioned buckshot (perhaps plated and buffered) usually provides the oft-quoted 1 inch per meter after the first meter. With your first shot of 00 buck (or #1 if you’re a believer) at 12 to 21 feet feet you’ll have 3 to 7 inches of spread. Do what the military does now: Aim the first shot at the pelvis slightly low and left, and the second at the junction of the shoulder line and neck. Slugs will not go through IIIA that is in good condition. With pistols the current doctrine is 2-5 across the pelvis, 2-5 across the shoulder line, depending on time and number of opponents. Why pelvis first? In case the guy’s actively dropping, crouching, ducking. A Benelli M4 seems reliable with a full length tube and 922 compliance parts, 8 or 9 pellet 00 or 3″15 pellet, or go to #1, which spreads faster in typical loadings. I grew up with the M16 and enjoy shooting the AR, but after decades of skeet and the advent of long tubes and red dots life has changed. So has the bad guys’ equipment. Just my view. I like 870’s but with age (I’m 60) I really prefer semi-auto and an EO.

    2. avatar APBTFan says:

      Ditto on the 12 gauge. I have a MAK-90 and a Mini-14 but it’s my 590 that stays by the bed. Eight rounds of double ought in the tube and six of these 1 1/4 oz. babies in the side saddle,

      The ballistic test pdf at the bottom of the page is quite interesting.

      1. avatar Darren says:

        From reading the ballistics test, there is clearly a “right” side and a “wrong” side of a Brenneke slug.

        Are you sure the rounds don’t have a notation on them that say “Front Toward Enemy”?

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          That has to be the best product instruction in the history of product instructions.

        2. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          The thought of Army-proofed Brenneke slugs has me in a fit of laughter at the moment.

      2. avatar Ropingdown says:

        The Brenneke Black Magic Short Magnum 1 oz has proven very effective and reliable for me over three or four years now. The heavier longer BMM isn’t necessary for anything but brown bears, and (laugh) really discourages fast second, third and fourth shots.

      3. avatar APBTFan says:

        Interestingly Brenneke has an even more powerful round. A 1 3/8 oz. slug at 1,650 fps. According to the literature it’ll penetrate a threat level IIA kevlar panel and go on through another 37.5″ of 10% gelatin. I imagine one shot and the shooter and shootee would both be on the ground.

  6. avatar huck says:

    Your handgun is what you use to fight your way to your shotgun.

    The best thing about the shotgun in a home defense situation is that the shotgun slug won’t accidentally go through 4 walls and kill your neighbor (like a .223 bullet).

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      I beg to differ. Loaded with varmint ammunition (e.g. Hornady’s V-MAX), .223 is an excellent choice for home defense. Those bullets disintegrate upon hitting ANYTHING, by design.

  7. avatar Jeff says:

    Grand jury? Is that where the tax payers pay this guy money for scratching two bad guys without the expense of a trial? But seriously, I hope people know how much money and hassle you end up going through even after a justifiable shooting…

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      My neighbor went through $5,000 getting his brother an attorney after a justifiable SD shooting.

    2. avatar Tyler Kee says:

      The grand jury is going to look at it and decide it is justifiable. The doc can be had here.

      Not only that, but if it is a justifiable self defense case, Texas Castle doctrine protects from civil liability.

      Sec. 83.001. CIVIL IMMUNITY [AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE]. A [It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the] defendant who uses force or[, at the time the cause of action arose, was justified in using] deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9 [Section 9.32], Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant’s [against a person who at the time of the] use of force or deadly force, as applicable [was committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the defendant].

      1. avatar Ron says:

        Excellent Mr.Kee.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    I did my basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antone. I thought the city was kind of a waste of space back then (1967), but I understand it’s a much better place nowadays.

    As for the age-old dispute about rifles, handguns and shotguns for home defense, it really doesn’t matter if the defender can quickly put rounds on target. Body armor? Irrelevant. Any BG who tries to invade my home with the intent of doing me in will be leaving without a head.

    1. avatar JSIII says:

      Even if the BG has body armor, he is going to have SOFT body armor. I wouldn’t want to take a 00 or slug to the chest when wearing soft body armor. If anything, the first shot should put any BG so off his aim that a followup shot to either the lower torso/legs or to the head should be easy enough to accomplish. Lets also remember, many soft armor vests do not do a very good job of protecting the area just above the and offer no protection to the critical area of the femoral arteries, a shot to that area will probably put the BG into shock and cause him to bleed out in very short order.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        All true, JSIII, but in the unlikely event that my home is invaded and my life endangered, I will need only one shot at the BG delivered center forehead.

  9. avatar JSIII says:

    Christians 2 Lions 0

    I hope they charge the remaining bad guy with the death of the newly departed one. Sounds like in this case the age old battle of shotgun vs AR in CQB was won once again by the shotgun. Really unless you have some land or have a need to shoot through barrier or body armor you would be better off with a handgun than an AR for Home Defense, but a shotgun is still my weapon of choice.

    I can’t believe this type of thing even goes to grand jury though, they should be giving this home owner a medal and the keys to the city, not investigating him.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      From the wording, it sounds pro forma.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      I hope they charge the remaining bad guy with the death of the newly departed one.

      Good point, JSIII. In some jurisdictions, the “felony murder” rule would apply in this case.

    3. avatar Ron says:

      CarlosT is correct.
      Think of this in the same vein as the bad guy not being “officially dead” until a M.D. says he is dead.

  10. avatar Tom says:

    As long arms go I like a good shotgun without sights. I have shot rabid animals charging me at close range and you need something that comes up fast, line up on the target, and pull the rigger. Actually, coming close to a shoot out, I think the whole thing is going to be closer to trap or skeet than punching paper targets at a distance. Still love my 870, but if I was going to do it all over it would be an Ithaca 37, especially with current Remingrton quality.

  11. avatar Aharon says:

    I wonder if those so-called assault rifles can be traced to any of the so-called botched sting operations run by the ATF.

    1. avatar DrewR55 says:

      Now wouldn’t that be funny. If I were the home owner I’d charge the ATF a finder’s fee.

  12. avatar Mark Smith says:

    Not too often you see a burglar toting a rifle, let alone an AR15. I wonder if there’s more to this than what’s in the news.

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