It Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use: Assassinated Texas Cadillac Dealer Edition


“[Cadillac dealership owner] Joe Stewart, 54, had just pulled into his driveway in Houston around 11.30pm after a night out at a local bar on Thursday when he was shot several times by the gunman,” reports. “In an eerily similar scene, Stewart was driving into his garage around 12.45am on April 26 when a white Jeep pulled into his driveway . . .

Three men in hoodies came out and tried to force him inside the house. Two of the men were carrying guns and the other man had a taser.

Stewart found a chance to escape when the men began arguing amongst themselves. They then got back into their car and left his residence.

Stewart’s ex-wife was shocked (again?): “It’s just impossible for me to think anyone would want to end his life like that and leave him on a cold garage floor by himself.” Yes, well, the fact that a troika of assassins tried to do the same thing a few weeks ago should have raised her incredulity bar pretty damn high.

The report doesn’t mention motive, nor does it reveal whether or not Mr. Steward was armed at the time of the murder. But one thing’s for sure: he should have been packing heat. Despite the posthumous testimonials to his largesse, clearly the car dealer had deadly enemies.

No matter what Stewart did or didn’t do to earn their ire, all Americans have the right to armed self-defense. Even criminals. (Just sayin’.) The perpetrators of this heinous crime can’t be brought to justice soon enough. Meanwhile, no matter what your profession, as Sergeant Phil Esterhaus said to his armed officers in Hill Street Blues, be careful out there. [h/t KDH]


  1. avatar tmm says:

    It sounds like he got a reprieve in April; unfortunately it was only temporary.

  2. avatar Marco says:

    If only Tesla were allowed to sell directly in Texas, this could have been avoided.

    Won’t someone think of the children?

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    Maybe he sold them a lemon?

  4. avatar Ryan says:

    Guess he should have spent some money on security

  5. avatar 16V says:

    What the real life version of Cadillac Man would have looked like?

  6. avatar Phil LA says:

    Arriving home at 11:30 PM suggests that he was spending time in an establishment that caters to the “night crowd.” The majority of these places serve alcohol, and would therefore fall under the 51% section of the Texas CHL law. Point being, he could have kept a firearm in his vehicle, but would still have been exposed getting to that vehicle. I like the 30.06 part of the CHL due to its clarity and legal-loopholes. But I hated the 51% section.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      I’m guessing that if he just pulled into his garage, as the story states, he had pretty good access to his car.

      1. avatar Phil LA says:

        Agreed. Reread the first two words of my post. Mine was a comment on the applicable CHL laws of Texas and the roadblocks they create to the ability to remain legally armed 24 hrs a day.

    2. avatar Nick says:

      Pretty sure he was probably under the influence to so extent sine he just left a bar. Maybe not legally drunk, but I really don’t think someone who’s even “buzzin” should be handling even a pellet gun, let alone a real firearm. Too much can go wrong when you’re even slightly drunk.

      1. avatar Karl says:

        Because he came home at 11:30 the assumption was made that he was at a bar. Our local dealer is open till 9 PM everyday except Sunday. He was the owner why couldn’t it be that he was working late?

        1. avatar Phil LA says:

          Absolutely, I was speculating.

        2. avatar bontai Joe says:

          Because the story states he was coming home from a bar. No mention is made of him drinking alcohol,and it’s possible he sipped a couple of club sodas while there

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        “Too much can go wrong when you’re even slightly drunk.”

        More wrong than being murdered? Sounds a bit silly to me.

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Sign or no sign, CHL or no CHL, it’s illegal to carry a firearm while intoxicated. The law defines intoxication, but not quantitatively. So one must beware.

      Then again, one must beware of one’s surroundings at all times, but especially when drinking.

    4. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Jesus, how boring is your life? 1130 pm is a late night out, and he was obviously drinking?? Or maybe he was working late. Or came from dinner. Or was watching a game at his friends house. or had a date. or was out fishing. Or went out to Walmart to pick up some last minute neccesities. Or literally a million other different possibilities. Nope. He was out to the super late hour of ELEVEN THIRTY! OBVIOUSLY he was at a bar!

  7. avatar Irish1776 says:

    This whole story sounds odd, and I’d wager there are a lot of details being left out……
    How did he escape three armed gunmen the first time? Arguing amongst themselves? This isn’t TV, and I can’t imagine that someone that age “escaped” from three armed bandits (no, not three-armed bandits, though that would narrow the suspects). Where would he escape to? They were already at his home.
    My guess is that the first encounter was a warning to let him know that someone was serious. Caddy dealership owner, late nights at bars. My first guess would be unpaid illegal gambling debts. My next guess is that there was a woman (other than his wife) involved.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      You may be on to something. Although, given his Montrose district home address, I’m thinking the other “woman” might not be a woman, despite his having a wife.

      HPD Homicide has a bit of experience in this kind of thing. They’ll follow the leads and hunches wherever they lead.

  8. avatar Gatha58 says:

    The cynical part of me wonders how he and his wife were getting along ? Could it be that she was tired of him hanging around the bars at night and did not want to go through the legal hassle of a divorce ? This way she probably gets everything instead of, maybe, 50%.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      That was my first thought as well. And I suspect the cops are already investigating that possibility.

    2. avatar Karl says:

      It was his Ex wife that was shocked.

  9. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    Sounds like he got into something that a DGU would be unlikely to carry him through.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      That was my first thought, too. Maybe a DGU would’ve saved him this time around, but it sounds to me like he was involved with some very serious, very persistent people, and he was going to “get got” eventually.

  10. avatar JR Pollock says:

    I’d be taking a long hard look at the ex wife.

  11. avatar Slopperator says:

    I would prefer a review of guns or gear insted of this article. I just fail to see much relevance. I mean, couldn’t one just pull any violent crime out of the news and label it a “should’ve been a DGU” situation when pressed for content? Maybe I’m just feeling a little cynical right now, but it seems kinda lazy. I love most of the other stuff you guys post though.

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      I think you made the point; all violence reported in the news should have been a defensive gun use. But it isn’t. Making the sheeple think about that is the whole point.

      1. avatar Slopperator says:

        I definitely get what you’re saying. Unfortunately, not too many of the sheeple that would benefit from receiving and comprehending that point/message are faithful readers of this site, so it’s kinda just preaching to the choir.

        I wonder what the criteria for a “should’ve been a DGU” article is, or if there even is any criteria besides it being a crime where the victim could have prevented being a victim if they were armed and capable of properly using their weapon. I also can’t help but wonder if it’s not just some kind of a mulligan for when the staff needs to turn in an article and were having writer’s block or they were too busy to generate something else…

  12. avatar Phil LA says:

    I’ve gotta ask: why the eff does the daily mail UK care about this story? No KHOU link?

    1. avatar juliesa says:

      It’s weird. Daily Mail is a UK tabloid, but for some reason it has quite good reporting on US crimes.

    2. avatar Nick says:

      They have to tell us Yanks how terrible it is we have guns.

    3. avatar Silver says:

      Pulling an Obama. Distract from their own country’s failures and crime rate by turning the spotlight on the US. It’s how corrupt entities deal with problems rather than fixing them.

  13. avatar Dustin says:

    A car dealer, hated to the point of murder? No, surely there is a mistake… Too bad Tesla, oh, wait, someone said that already…

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Indeed it’s a shame. For now, we Texans will continue to have to schlep all the way to California to buy government subsidized, but still overpriced and underperforming, vanity vehicles that catch fire. Gosh darn I feel so deprived.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        There is a wide selection on the streets of Austin. Most people don’t seem willing to part with them, tho.

  14. avatar Geoff PR says:

    The suspect list:

    Everyone he ever sold a used car to who felt he ripped them off.

    Long-ass line of suspects to be checked out…

    One… At… A… Time…

  15. avatar Nick says:

    Not entirely sure it should have been a DGU. Perhaps we’ll know more when the autopsy comes out (like his BAC), but if he’s returning home from a bar, we can assume he was consuming alcohol (you don’t go to a bar alone and not drink). So, he has an elevated BAC (but we’ll assume he was legal driving home, so not that high) do we really want to advocate the deadly mix of guns and alcohol?

    He would have been responsible to NOT be carrying if he was even slightly intoxicated. Besides that, state law would prohibit him from having it in his possession at the bar.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      No more than having a beer and then driving your car which is a lethal weapon if driven incorrectly.
      There are states that have the same criteria for the BAC when driving and for carrying and using a gun.

      1. avatar Nick says:

        I never said it was ok to drive with a BAC above zero but under the legal limit. the current limit for DUI is too high. Even at .04 and .06 there is serious impairment that affects stopping distances and reaction time. If you’ve got alcohol in you, it’s my firm belief you have no business driving or handling a firearm.

        1. avatar Mini14 says:

          What about while at home having a drink and someone breaks in? Should you not defend yourself just because you’ve been drinking?

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          I think the limits are ridiculous as they are, particularly the open container law. I can have a beer at the bar on the way home, jump in the car and I’m fine, legally and physically. I cannot, legally, buy that same beer at a convenience store and drink it on the way home.

          It’s asinine safety theater just like so much firearms-related is security theater.

    2. avatar Aaron says:

      yeah, it’s way better NOT to defend yourself if you get attacked after a few drinks. Just lay down and die.


      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yeah, this really isn’t the place to advocate that silliness. I drink while armed all the time, since I am constantly armed, usually at home but occasionally have a drink with dinner out. Long since I decided that one drink will preclude my interference into any criminal action which does not involve me (fear of prosecutorial excess), but if you think I am going to surrender if I am personally attacked because I have consumed a beer, you are dreaming, that concept is about as stupid as I can imagine.

  16. avatar Dan says:

    Sounds like a hit….the first one was screwed up so a second more efficient shooter was hired for round 2.
    Follow the money, who benefits. They will be the ones who set this up. Someone isn’t just gunned down in
    their garage as they arrive home for no reason. SOMEONE had a reason and that reason involves either
    money or sex. Rarely are people killed for other reasons.

  17. avatar John in Ohio says:

    one thing’s for sure: he should have been packing heat.


    after a night out at a local bar

    When I was much younger, my friends and I never disarmed when we were drinking in taverns. Even though I no longer drink in bars (and rarely drink at all), I don’t disarm when I have the occasional beer. IMHO, some POTG need to stop getting their panties in a twist over the fact that some of us are armed practically all of the time. A responsible person will act responsibly. I don’t drive when I drink and I likewise don’t target shoot when drinking.

    all Americans have the right to armed self-defense. Even criminals. (Just sayin’.)


  18. avatar Sheepdog6 says:

    I hope the wife got her money back from the three men who she paid to kill him the first time.

  19. avatar Dillion W says:

    troika-a group of three people working together, especially in an administrative or managerial capacity. troi·ka

  20. avatar Aaron says:

    Somebody played a stupid game, and won a stupid prize.

    I agree with the posters who said a CCW wouldn’t have saved him forever – it’s a tool, not an impenetrable shield that saves you from gambling debts or drug deals gone bad or whatever trouble you’ve got yourself in.

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