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Around 1:00 a.m. this morning in Houston, an “elderly gentleman,” as he’s been described, brought an end to a string of vehicle and garage burglaries that had been plaguing his neighborhood. The 19-year-old suspect can be seen in the surveillance video below attempting to break into cars:

According to the report, a motion sensor light went off in the man’s home around 12:45 a.m. Immediately, the man, who was at home with his wife, got a handgun and went to his garage, where he found the suspect in a mask. During their brief confrontation, the suspect started moving toward the homeowner, who shot him once, grazing his head.

The suspect was later found about a block away with non-lethal injuries and taken into custody.

Here’s another surveillance video of him apparently taken shortly after he was grazed by the bullet:

This story highlights why it’s a good idea to have surveillance cameras. And a home defense gun.

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  1. I just want to apologize to Marty.
    In the FBI/Finicum comments, I responded to somebody who accused Finicum of running a roadblock, but somehow I confused him with Marty, who said no such thing. Yes, somebody lied, but Marty was not the liar.

  2. If the best argument for self defense is he ‘started moving towards’ the homeowner, the homeowner can be glad he’s living in a state that declared open season on nighttime burglars. OTOH, ABC13 might be wording it as far in the burglar’s favor as is humanly possible and he might have done a whole lot more than ‘started moving’.

    • You can pretty much do what ever you want in the name of self defense at night in Texas

      • Ummm…I’m a native Texan…lived here all my life but for the years in the military.

        I have no idea about how our gun laws compare to those in other states. Don’t care one bit about other states as I’d never leave Texas again.

        But to suggest that an armed citizen has an open season on burglars or thieves during daytime or night is just plain not true. I carry and I’ve made a particularly acute effort to understand what I can and can’t legally do with my weapon day or night.

        It simply isn’t as “Devil may care” as the above poster suggests. If I were to summarize in just a few words the sense of the law here in Texas regarding self-defense and the use of firearms it would be maximum restraint is required by the gun owner and the threat must be immediate, proximal and substantial. Anything else will get you in trouble.

        • Better do some more research: Texas Penal Code, Chapter 9 – Sec. 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.

    • The initial concern that ‘you’ may be missing is, the home and or private property was breached by a stranger. Said stranger, as I understand it, did not have permission to be on that residential property at the time of the posted incident.

      The movement, furtive or not, was secondary.

      Anyone else want to add or take-away from this?

      • Movement IS Secondary.
        Soldier who shot the burglar in home hiding behind couch got Not Guilty in Colorado Springs, CO. Shooting in 2015, case finished in 2016.
        Get NRA Carry Guard, US Law Shield, USCCA, etc.

  3. During one of our gun safety classes at the local range, the instructor had a police officer present to answer questions. The upshot was the cop advised that a garage is not considered a part of the residence because the primary purpose of a garage is to house/store property. Defense of property does not permit use of deadly force. If a garage intruder forces their way into the actual residence, deadly force resistance may be reasonable for the circumstances; for defense of property, never. The cop noted the courts here were adamant that leaving a residence to “investigate” an intruder is not the same as leaving a bedroom to investigate an intruder in the living room. Nor is going outside to investigate a noise. Those are apparently “the rules” around here. It pays to know exactly where and when deadly force defense is permitted in your jurisdiction.

    • “The upshot was the cop advised that a garage is not considered a part of the residence because the primary purpose of a garage is to house/store property.”

      That would be for Texas, correct?

      Because in Florida, it is considered part of your home, and that includes being under a carport attached to your dwelling, as one young thug down here discovered shortly before his life ended by the home owner.

      I suppose the takeaway is, know your local laws and have a good idea on how your local DA views armed self-defense…

    • “a motion sensor light went off in the man’s home around 12:45”

      Sounds like it was an attached garage, and “the cop’s” advice doesn’t sound like the Texas I’ve heard about. See earlier comment about Joe Horn. Have they changed their laws since then?

      The important point to take from this comment is:

      “It pays to know exactly where and when deadly force defense is permitted in your jurisdiction.”

      To paraphrase how I’ve heard it before, if a masked man is in your home at 1 AM in the morning, and he starts moving toward you, the odds are quite likely he doesn’t have your best interest in mind.

      • “…doesn’t sound like the Texas I’ve heard about.”

        Not being a resident of Texas, I defer to my lack of knowledge about gun laws there. When you live in a state with no preemption laws, you tend to pay attention to what local cops say can get you arrested (properly, or not).

        • Texas like other states, the metro areas are socialist. Austin and Houston both hired Acevedo, the Marxist KGB as chief of police…. DGU in those type of areas are less likely to be view favorably. Don’t ask me how I know….

    • The cop is half right. The area covered by castle doctrine varies from one state to another. In the most restrictive states, it doesn’t extend past the four walls of your house. Not even one inch. Set one foot out the door in such a state and castle doctrine no longer applies. In other states, a larger, surrounding area, called curtilage, also is covered. To know how much, you have to research the law in your own state.

      • “To know how much, you have to research the law in your own state.”

        Indeed. One must also consider there is actual law, and “cop law”. I find not giving police an opportunity to notice me is the best approach. I did look for a book that covered all the gun laws in all the states, but agreement seems to be that the laws change too fast for a book; look up each state on the internet.

    • The upshot is the police officer didn’t know what he was talking about.

      If it is a attached garage, then it is part of your home. The use of that “garage” or original purpose of the garage is irrelevant.

      If it’s a DETACHED garage, then you would have some potential legal issues.

      • “The upshot is the police officer didn’t know what he was talking about.”

        Considering what cops and prosecutors can put you through (with immunity), think I will just dial 911 if there is a bump outside, or in the garage. Call 911, then bunker in and wait for potential entry of a bud guy into the funnel. It is one thing to speculate on potential events, but another to recognize what can happen when cops get involved. Just found this, from LawShield:

        No way to predict how a visit from police will work out.

      • Every state is different. Go back to prior comments and look up the specific law for your state. In his state, the officer could have very well have known what he was talking about.

    • That may be true in “TX, but not in MS.

      Immediate Premises

      “A person who uses defensive force shall be presumed to have reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily harm, or the commission of a felony upon him or another or upon his dwelling, or against a vehicle which he was occupying, or against his business or place of employment or the immediate premises of such business or place of employment, if the person against whom the defensive force was used, was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if that person had unlawfully removed or was attempting to unlawfully remove another against the other person’s will from that dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof and the person who used defensive force knew or had reason to believe that the forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred. This presumption shall not apply if the person against whom defensive force was used has a right to be in or is a lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or is the lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if the person who uses defensive force is engaged in unlawful activity or if the person is a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his official duties “

      • “That may be true in “TX, but not in MS.”

        Not living in Texas, can’t compare MS and TX. Just wanted people to be sure they understand the exact wording of their laws, as well as the attitudes of police and prosecutors about those laws.

    • I you don’t indicate the state for which you are passing along rumors then it is just useless noise. NY or Florida or Wyoming makes a HUGE difference.

      • “NY or Florida or Wyoming makes a HUGE difference.”

        Of course it does. Which was the point of the original comment. Presuming and knowing can make all the difference in the world. Just that. Being “right” (correct) is not a defense at trial. One must be “lawful”, and as noted by Charles Dickens, “…the law is a ass – a idiot”.

    • Are you legally allowed to be in your garage? Is a waste of molecules who is trespassing?

      Stand your ground.

    • I’m not sure how much stock I would put in second-hand legal information from a police officer of unknown knowledge. Which is particularly funny given what I’m about to say.

      A good attorney would make the correct argument that since there is no law against “investigating a (your) garage” in any state I’m familiar with it makes no difference; the only question is whether you were (a) in a place you are lawfully allowed to be and (b) reasonably in fear for your life and possibly (c) were unable to retreat in safety. (C) is the crux of castle doctrine and stand your ground laws, in that you don’t need to retreat to use force. That said, if someone comes at you and you can articulate reasons why you could not retreat in safety (which is the standard used even in places like NYC) you don’t have to. And you can bet I would be articulating lots of reasons if I were an elderly gentlemen faced by a young, probably athletic assailant.

      Of course that good attorney will cost a lot of money. And sometimes- rarely, but sometimes- you get screwed anyway. Is it worth it? Tough question. The more of a ‘victim’ you seem (age, gender, size) compared to the criminal, the better.

      • Agree. Listening to a cop discuss law is, indeed, not something you can use in court as a defense, or legal strategy. However, a cop’s insight into the local mindset regarding gun ownership, and self-defense shootings is something to consider. The cop’s explanation was that entering the garage to “investigate” can be viewed as intent to initiate a confrontation. That “intention”, it could be argued, changed the situation from self-defense (if the homeowner stayed in the house, the shooting might not have happened) to aggression on the part of the homeowner. Did the cop recommend not going outside or into a garage to “investigate” ? No. The cop just pointed out how some things can be viewed very differently at trial.

  4. Texas is a great country. You can defend yourself and your property with lethal force. I am reminded of the time several years ago in East Texas when a rancher strung a rustler from a tree. County Sheriff said it was legal and the county DA no billed the guy. Do not mess around in Texas.

    • “I am reminded of the time several years ago in East Texas when a rancher strung a rustler from a tree.”

      When I was stationed in Texas years ago, I was informed that carrying tools in your car could be a risk. The story was that cattle rustling was still illegal in Texas, and wire cutters were a tool used by rustlers to cut fencing. Thus, pliers in your car could be declared “wire cutters”, and grounds for arrest if nothing else could justify arresting someone acting unusual. Never heard that “law” used during my four years in Texas.

  5. A wise person must assume that an intruder on his/her property in the middle of the night is there to do him/her harm. The only question is how much harm.

    In my mind, if an intruder immediately surrenders or retreats when I happen upon them, they were there to harm my property (vandalize or steal it). If the intruder reaches for their waist area or starts moving toward me, they have decided to harm me physically.

  6. Uncommonly sensible…
    “Well… when a naked man is chasing a woman down the street with a butcher knife and a hardon, I dont figure he’s out collecting for the red cross.”- dirty harry callahan

  7. At least according to my local PD, in KY a detached garage or any covered area such as a carport falls under the law for a legal defensive shooting.

    Like mentioned though, “cop law” and actual state law sometimes differs. I really do need to look into it.

    Naturally, intent matters. I won’t kill someone over something I can replace unless I feel my safety is in jeopardy. Shame you only get seconds to make that distinction.

  8. At night in texas… deadly force is able to be used to defend property… its that simple… ignorance of the law is no excuse…

  9. Car break ins at night have become epidemic in my county. Mostly punk ass kids whose parents never taught them right from wrong and could care less. I weep for this country’s future.

  10. Wandering Nocturnal Urbanites seem to be a growing issue. We are seeing it more in Atlanta. I’m actually installing more cameras today. I think I’ll clean my shotgun as well.

  11. One thing I’ve always wondered about.

    I live in a duty to retreat state. Let’s say I go armed to the garage like this guy to investigate a noise. Burglar attacks, I shoot. Is my investigation considered a failure to retreat?

    I assume I would go to jail in nj for what this guy did. Logic being I should have sheltered and called police.

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