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“Omar Monterrosa told police he saw the men carrying a TV, laptop and other items from the house across the street. He said he was worried about the two women who live in the house so he went inside and grabbed a gun.” Then he crossed the street. has the skinny, such as it is . . .

Monterrosa confronted the suspects and ordered them to get down on the ground. “One of them reached towards his waist like he was pulling a gun, the homeowner fired three shots,” said HPD Sgt. Kevin Martin.

How will this little melodrama play out? Here’s a definitive answer for you: it depends. It happened in Texas, a definite plus. If this were New Jersey, Mr. Monterrosa’s neighbors – no matter how grateful they may be – would be saying hasta la vista to him for a while.

Other factors influencing the outcome will include Omar’s age, his criminal history (if any), the prosecutor assigned to the case, the condition of the wounded burglar, his rap sheet, the rap sheets of his three buddies who beat feet when the lead started to fly, whether or not the two women who own the burgled house across the street were home at the time (the story isn’t clear on that one, it seems they weren’t) and a good half dozen more variables yet to be determined.

Best guess: it will break Monterrosa’s way. Unless it doesn’t. And that’s the risk a gunowner takes when inserting himself into a non-life threatening situation.


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  1. I live in the Peoples Democratic Republic of NJ, and the above is no exageration. This guy would be going to prison if this had happened in NJ. Pathetic.

  2. Ok, I’m confused, what does this have to do with needing more than 10 rounds? Or is it b/c he only fired 3 rounds?

  3. Four BGs, not a situation where you want to run out of rounds. Luckily for me I live in a decent state, so 17+1 for me all day long.

  4. I live in Pa. and (if I am reading this correctly) I don’t see how Monte… would be protected by either the Castle Doctrine or Stand your Ground???

    • We’re in the great state of Texas son.

      § 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and (3) he reasonably believes that: (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

  5. What?!?!?! So a citizen cannot tell burglars to stop during the commission of a crime? A citizen cannot arm themselves before confronting said burglars? And a citizen cannot use deadly force to defend themselves when one of the burglars starts reaching for something in their waist?

    I would see things differently if the concerned citizen simply saw three strangers walking away from the neighbor’s home empty handed. (They could be visitors or door-to-door salesmen.) Assuming the few details provided are accurate, this concerned citizen shouldn’t be facing any charges.

    • What if his neighbors (two women) had been home, and were tied up inside? I think this guy was justified in confronting the burglars. What has the world come to if we dont look out for our neighbors? As soon as the guy reaches for something in his waistband, I would say Monterrosa was right to use deadly force.

      • how would he know his neighbers were tied up inside. arm yourself for sure, then dial 911 and observe and report. if you see a real threat to a neighber or orther party intervene. do not put yourself into a shit storm over someone’s tv.

  6. TFA says he shot one of the crims in the back, that could be a problem, but otherwise well done. The world would be a better place if all crims were justifiably shot dead by law abiding citizens.

  7. God bless Texas! I’ve always loved the “criminal mischief AT NIGHT!” deadly-force provision of the local code; the local cops understand that if a resident has a problem with a cocaine-crazed lunatic who just closed down the bar guns might get involved. (In my experience, the sight of the muzzle of a P220 in the moonlight calms down crazy people long enough for the cops to show up. 3 incidents, one round fired into the shrubbery to get the fool’s attention, never had to shoot anyone, thank God.)

    Still, though… Arab first name, Hispanic last name; must have missed this one in the local media because I’m sure the “deport them all” trolls were having a crisis with their “shoot all the crooks” ethos. (Reader comments in the Houston Chronicle are a morbid fascination of mine; we should execute all Hispanics before we deport them unless they get killed in Iraq….. and when it comes to a guy named Omar…) At least according to the fools with modems, of which Houston has plenty.

  8. if i’m reading the law right, and it’s always possible i’m not, there’s been a very slight change for the better in ca. we once had a duty to retreat, even in our own homes, before we could use deadly force. now i’m seeing that it’s been changed, the fact that the bg has entered your home is sufficient. also we now have the right,even without a permit, to arm ourselves and go outside to protect the life of another. i wouldn’t push my luck here and try to rescue a neighbers tv, but it’s nice to know that we have a bunch of kids on my street and every once in a while a stray pit bull shows up and i at least have a legal defense for being outside armed if i need be.

  9. I was told by a policeman in Florida we can do a citizen arrest , and hold the bad guys for police, but ( put your gun down as police come to your location), as for the number of rounds If you have a 45acp or 40 S&W 10 rounds may do but carry a extra clip ,, because even a 223 Rem. will not knock down a man (drunks or dope heads) they will bleed out to die most times… same for the 12 Ga. he will bleed to death.. had one local home attack two bad guys shot over 45 pistol shots at his door etc. anyhow bad guy got in back window and was shot by owner with a 357 mag. bad guys run off and one is found getting medical care… the ANSWER is the JURY … we are the law and have the final saw no matter what the judge says… his job is to protect the system… We protect right or wrong… this is also called English common law,, the jury is the REAL JUDGE , we can even judge the law in question it only takes one person to set someone free (hung jury) be a man stick to what you see as right or wrong ………

      • You will know the bad guys , because they will shoot first, and anyone else will tell you whats going on , you will not have to worry about shooting a good guy as he will not be attacking you. wow.

  10. In this case it turns out that they were BGs. Yet, if this type of well-intentioned neighborly response were to happen enough times innocent people would be mistaken for thieves. Every case is different. Neighbors looking out for each other is great. I can also see some dim-witted neighbor with a gun accidentally shooting his neighbor’s nephew or some guys picking up a free used TV.

  11. What if they were movers helping the young ladies in the house and he was reaching for his I.D. to show the guy. Not saying he didnt have a right to do what he did but you have to make sure you are making the right decision no matter how fast you have to make it.

    • Then there would be a moving van out front, or at least they would be carrying boxes of stuff.
      To that end if they were just moving guys, which they weren’t, get on the ground, comply, wait for the cops and explain the situation. No harm no foul.
      While I wouldn’t want a gun pointed at me, I would not be mad for a neighbor reacting the way he did.

      • To that end if they were just moving guys, which they weren’t, get on the ground, comply, wait for the cops and explain the situation. No harm no foul.

        Plenty of harm and foul. Unlawful detention.

  12. A phone call would have been sufficient. Any crimes against the women would have been a “fait accompli” by the time this neighbor intervened. A camera might have been a better weapon for the good Samaritan. Property should be insured and is always replaceable. Not a reason to inject potential deadly force. Sorry.

    • If grown man/woman is taking my property be it worth 2 cent’s or $20,000 I will use whatever force is neccesary to stop them and retrieve my items, they made the conscious decision to commit a crime and they knew or should have known that a life of crime can and usually does end abruptly at some point. Now if that same person was to ASK me for help I would give them the shirt off my back or the food off my plate and help in any way I could.

  13. The article states that the matter has been referred to the Grand Jury without charges, so it looks like Mr. Monterrosa will not be indicted. Good for him. But if your local laws do not permit good citizens to intervene in a nonviolent crime or the escape from a crime, please do not try this at home.

  14. ‘Who Really Needs More Than Ten Rounds Edition’

    Since this site usually advocates for the latest biggest baddest blackest tactical guns with the ‘mostest’ capacity, I can’t tell if the post’s headline is stated seriously or in sarcasm.

    • uhm..
      I have to politely disagree to a certain extent.
      Yes we like our sporting rifles, but I don’t think anyone here has ever advocated getting anything beyond a standard capacity magazine for anything.

      Sure we drool over tacticool stuff all the time, but in reality I think most of us want tools that work, work well, and if we can save some cash in the process great!

      As far as needing more than ten rounds..
      Well he fired three shots, for one guy. There were four. Doing the math if he had had a ten round clip as deemed maximum from CA, then he would have had to reload. It is an backhanded sarcasm I think to that rule.

      If you train a lot and are good, reloads are fast, but even still I feel jilted as it were, that the vast majority of this country doesn’t need bullet buttons, 10 round maximum capacity magazines, or a ban on any 50 .BMG rifles.

      • Sanchanim,

        Thanks for your reply. Respectfully, the neighbor fired three times not twelve: “One of them reached towards his waist like he was pulling a gun, the homeowner fired three shots,” said HPD Sgt. Kevin Martin.”

        Going beyond this one case, in the grand scale of shootings far less than 1% of all legally owned guns will be used in a defensive shooting. The vast majority of shots exchanged about 98%+ (both ways) in those defensive shootings (criminal vs. non-criminal) is under three rounds fired and I believe it is usually two or one round. For those gun owners that are violent criminals they probably should have higher capacity magazines.

        Considering the percentage of stories at TTAG that focus on semi-auto handguns, black rifles, the related tactical gear, and ogling military weapons IMO this site does focus on that part of the gun community.

        It has probably happened somewhere sometime, yet we don’t get reports along the lines of non-criminal citizen Joe Smith armed with only a six shot revolver is now dead because he did not have a Glock with 15-30 rounds in it to defend himself.

        • aharon. i have for many years believed that for 99% of non police and non military situations the civilian shooter is liable to encounter the old school police lineup of a service revolver and shotgun will be enough to handle the problem. i am not advocating mag limits or bans on “assualt rifle” but most of us will never need that level of firepower.

  15. People suspiciously carrying stuff out of a neighbor’s house means you call the police and keep an eye/ear out. One man does not a SWAT team make.

    • Depends on where you live… remember much of this country is still rural, hell there may or may not be a deputy on duty in my whole county at night, and if there is one chances are better than even that he will have a least one 4,000ft mountain to get to you if not 2… yeah we watch out for each other and I can promise you a the sight of a Bolt action 30-06′ or a 30-30 lever gun in the hands of a person that knows how to use it is enough to even make a crackhead reconsider career choices

  16. Please stop saying clip. It’s a magazine.

    It’s never good when deadly force is used, however, I’m pretty certain none of those four (now possibly three) men will think very hard about the value of their lives before attempting another B&E.

    Damn I miss Texas.

  17. I dunno.
    How many times does a DGU occur with ZERO shots fired? What was the maximum number of shots fired in a DGU ever recorded? Who cares?
    Then there is the principle “Better to have the gun [extra ammo ] that you don’t need, than to need the gun [extra ammo ] you don’t have.”

    Belt AND suspenders, anyone?

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