Sheriff Says ‘They Have a Right to Protect Their Home’ After Texas Teen Shoots Burglary Suspect – Bearing Arms

Sheriff Says ‘They Have a Right to Protect Their Home’ After Texas Teen Shoots Burglary Suspect – Bearing Arms

A 14-year-old in Harris County, Texas who was alone in his home shot and killed a suspected burglar early Thursday morning after the man tried to gain entry to the residence. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the shooting happened shortly after several homeowners in the area had contacted police to alert them that someone was trying to break into their own residences, while one neighbor told reporters she saw the man acting strangely before he approached the home where the teen lives with his family. 

“As soon as he climbs out the ditch, I’m like, ‘This guy has some weird behavior,'” Araceli Herrera told us. “I’ve never seen him before, and I was on alert.” 

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the man, either in his late 20s or early 30s, approached the home in far east Harris County and began turning the doorknob. The scared 14-year-old was inside and home alone after his father went to work and his father’s girlfriend left to drop off the younger children.

Herrera watched out her window and saw the man looking into her neighbor’s house and trying to get inside. She tried to call the neighbor because she knew his son was there by himself. Then she said the boy opened the door and shot the guy. 

“And I walk back away from the window and I’m like in shock.” Herrera said. “I still haven’t been able to stop shaking.”

Gonzalez described the situation as ” very traumatic” for the teen, noting that “we’re talking about a 14-year-old having to use deadly force and protection of himself and his property.” While the teen isn’t facing any charges at the moment, Gonzalez says the results of the department’s investigation will be turned over to a Harris County grand jury once it’s complete. 

‘If we go with the possibility that the male was trying to break into the home, then it’s possible that he may have spotted people leaving the home and was trying to make entry into the home,’ Gonzalez said. 

One neighbour told local media: ‘There was this guy in the ditch, and then he got out of the ditch, and he walked around the ditch, and he’s like, super weird behaviour. 

‘With this super weird behaviour and a man I never saw, I figured I need to call my neighbour and let her know there is a man going to your property.’

Local cops said the teenager and his family are cooperating with the investigation. 

Gonzalez added: ‘They have a right to protect their home. They have a right to feel safe in their home. 

‘Ironically, there is a sign on the gate that basically says that, something to the effect that, “Intruders will be met with force”.’

The suspect in question had already prompted at least two calls to 911 from homeowners reporting attempted break-ins, so I’d say it’s reasonable to believe that was his intention when he walked up to the teen’s home and began rattling the doorknob. And under the state’s Castle Doctrine, the teen didn’t have to wait until the stranger had actually forced his way inside the residence before acting in self-defense. Texas Penal Code 9.32 states in part:

(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another: 

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:


(b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment

The biggest question in this incident may ultimately be whether or not the suspected intruder was using force to unlawfully enter the home when he was shot. Based on the sheriff’s comments to the press, however, it sounds like Gonzalez believes the teen was justified in using deadly force when he fired shots in self-defense. 

If gun control activists had their way, of course, the teen wouldn’t have been able to protect himself with a firearm. Their favorite storage mandates would prohibit parents from allowing their minor children access to a firearm, even if they’re perfectly comfortable with their child’s maturity and ability to handle a firearm safely and responsibly. In fact, the policies that the gun control lobby promotes could have easily lead to the parents of the teen being charged had they been adopted by Texas lawmakers, even if the actions of the teen were completely justified to protect his life. 

I’m sure that this was a traumatic event for the teen and his parents. No gun owner I know is eager to defend their life with a gun, no matter how zealously we guard our right to do so. Still, this could have ended far worse for the teen and his family had the intruder managed to make his way inside the home, and I hope that the teen and his family get any help they might need to deal with the trauma inflicted by the stranger at their door.

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