San Antonio Man Kills Intruder Not Charged


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beaucoup ammo
May 1, 2008, 05:39 PM
'Castle doctrine' likely will apply in fatal shooting

Web Posted: 04/29/2008 11:14 PM CDT

Robert Crowe
Express-News
After his home was burglarized earlier this week, Thomas Thames decided to arm himself in case the intruder returned, police say.

The following night, he heard another noise at his home in the 5800 block of East Midcrown, so Thames, 39, walked downstairs. It was about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he once again saw a young man in his kitchen. The back door was open.

This time, Thames fired a gun at the man, who ran into the backyard, where Thames shot at him again, police said.

Ronnie Scarborough, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene.

San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Gabe Trevino said the resident had pulled the man into his house and waited for police to arrive.

Police said the man killed at Thames’ Northeast Side home Tuesday matched the description of a burglary suspect the resident said he chased from the home the night before.

Police said Tuesday that Thames likely won’t be charged with a crime because Texas law gives homeowners latitude in protecting their property and themselves.

“A property owner, by Texas law, has the right to prevent the consequences of a burglary by utilizing deadly force if necessary,” Trevino said.

For many years, Texas law has permitted residents to use deadly force to protect themselves and their personal property. Last year, the Legislature broadened the law to include a “castle doctrine,” allowing a person to use deadly force in self-defense against an intruder without having to retreat into his home."

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glocker82
May 1, 2008, 05:40 PM
I wonder if he shot him with a 9mm...then we can end the debate once and for all.

RoadkingLarry
May 1, 2008, 05:41 PM
As it should be.

PCFlorida
May 1, 2008, 05:42 PM
San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Gabe Trevino said the resident had pulled the man into his house and waited for police to arrive.


Sounds like he listens to too many Internet Rumors :barf:

Lucky he didn't get charged for disturbing a crime scene.

Biker
May 1, 2008, 05:43 PM
Although he may have been justified shooting the intruder under Texas law, I'm sure he could be charged with a number of violations by moving the body.

Not a good idea.

Biker

p2000sk
May 1, 2008, 05:44 PM
"Remember the good old days when it was ok to burglarize anyone you wanted to?"
"No."

glocker82
May 1, 2008, 05:45 PM
See in this case, I think bird shot is appropriate...even if the guy gets away, he's gonna be full of holes and very identifiable.

primlantah
May 1, 2008, 06:00 PM
when i lived in san antonio, after a burglary, the responding officer recommended dragging the SOB back inside after shooting him to make sure he is dead. You people out of state will be disgusted by this and will say thats terrible advice... but thats how they do it in san antonio. its crime is just high enough where the leos don't care about the bg anymore. IMO if everyone who robs a house in san antonio receives proper treatment there will be no room in hospitals or prisons for people who deserve the space. my .02

csmkersh
May 1, 2008, 06:44 PM
See in this case, I think bird shot is appropriate...even if the guy gets away, he's gonna be full of holes and very identifiable.

Wrong, glocker. Either you use deadly force or you don't fire at all.

And 30 years ago I got the "drag him inside advice," but, even then, knew it was wrong.

skinewmexico
May 1, 2008, 07:15 PM
I wonder if he shot him with a 9mm...then we can end the debate once and for all.

Nope, would have bounced off. I support the Castle Law fully, but I'm not sure I could shoot a guy running thru my back yard, even if he had been in my house.

DoubleTapDrew
May 1, 2008, 07:28 PM
Doesn't take CSI to see the blood trail from the yard to where the body lies in the house. Altering the scene after you kill someone is not a good idea.
I'm glad the reporter didn't call it the "shoot first" or "make my day law" or any other such nonsense.

Birdshot might be good if you know for certain they'll flee. If you suddenly realize the bad guy is going to turn violent it wouldn't be fun to ask him to hold on for a minute while you reload the shotgun with shells that'll actually penetrate deep enough to physically stop him instead of peppering him with the stuff for little birdies.

Starship1st
May 1, 2008, 08:24 PM
I love happy endings. It is difficult to feel sorry for some one who was looking for an easy score and got justice.:cool:

romma
May 1, 2008, 08:31 PM
I wonder if he shot him with a 9mm...then we can end the debate once and for all.


Not sure about the 9mm debate.

My topic for debate would be:

If you were a criminal, would you really want to keep your occupation based in TX?

I know I would move from TX lickity-split...

Standing Wolf
May 1, 2008, 09:27 PM
Ronnie Scarborough, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Who says criminals never do the right thing?

BruceRDucer
May 1, 2008, 10:07 PM
/

San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Gabe Trevino said the resident had pulled the man into his house and waited for police to arrive.


Speaking only for myself, I could care less if the property owner pulled the man in or out of the house, or propped him on top of the chimney in a Santa suit.

I'm just happy the property owner was not hurt.:uhoh:

C96
May 1, 2008, 10:28 PM
Maybe the property owner brought him into the house to give him first aid ? :evil:

mekender
May 1, 2008, 10:59 PM
thats what i was thinking... what if the guy was still alive and the guy dragged him inside to try to render aid?

plexreticle
May 1, 2008, 11:56 PM
Now he can look forward to the civil suits that will probably bankrupt him.

Jimmy Newman
May 2, 2008, 12:01 AM
Now he can look forward to the civil suits that will probably bankrupt him.

In Texas, theoretically you have statutory protection from civil suits in the event of a justified shooting like this.

Sans Authoritas
May 2, 2008, 12:12 AM
Justified in shooting a fleeing perpetrator? According to your fellow men on a jury, there may be such a thing. I don't know if that kind of "justification" really counts in front of the only judgment seat of any real importance.

When it comes to that seat, that 18-year old better have been armed and posing an active threat when the homeowner shot at him.

I always thought that being armed for self-defense was to neutralize an immediate threat to one's life, limb, or in extreme cases, property: not to shoot at a fleeing burglar to "clean up society," as some here seem to feel.

-Sans Authoritas

Dksimon
May 2, 2008, 12:20 AM
maybe he was running out to get his weapon that he left stashed in the bushes?
As a home owner you dont know what this guy is going to do and he is obviously an idiot if he burglarized the same house twice.
I say fire away. +1 for the good guys

skinewmexico
May 2, 2008, 12:27 AM
Now he can look forward to the civil suits that will probably bankrupt him.

Can't sue the homeowner under Texas Castle doctrine.

plexreticle
May 2, 2008, 12:35 AM
Can't sue the homeowner under Texas Castle doctrine.

I'm sure a savvy lawyer can come up with a case. The guy was running away and was shot. The guy that shot him drug the body inside for some reason.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 2, 2008, 01:01 AM
He should not have shot the second shot, outside. But then again, the outcome does not upset me too much. Whether he is sued depends upon how the castle doctrine law is written, and thus whether the shot was justified, which in turn will determine whether the tort liability protection with justifiable self-defense kicks in. Prior to castle doctrine, that's murder (shooting a fleeing suspect outside the home.).

bogie
May 2, 2008, 01:24 AM
sq. root of 4,387,285,290

Heh, heh...

possom813
May 2, 2008, 01:29 AM
Perhaps he was running to the homeowners garage where he may have several weapons that could be used against him.

Maybe he as an elderly neighbor that can't defend his/her self and the bad guy was running straight for there house.

Maybe he was trying to render first aid, as posted above.

There's always internet speculation, but you never know exactly what's going through a homeowner's mind when something like that happens.

If it were me, and he decided to come into my home via the back door, if Grady doesn't get him first, he then has to fend off an oc bomb and a spiffy alarm system. Then, if by chance I shoot him and he's able to leave through the back door, I would probably shoot him again, depending on the circumstances.

But I also live in a fairly quiet neighborhood with mostly older folks around that have lived here for years. I only have a couple of neighbors that I'm not too sure about.

lloydkristmas
May 2, 2008, 02:19 AM
Justified in shooting a fleeing perpetrator? According to your fellow men on a jury, there may be such a thing. I don't know if that kind of "justification" really counts in front of the only judgment seat of any real importance.

When it comes to that seat, that 18-year old better have been armed and posing an active threat when the homeowner shot at him.

I always thought that being armed for self-defense was to neutralize an immediate threat to one's life, limb, or in extreme cases, property: not to shoot at a fleeing burglar to "clean up society," as some here seem to feel.

-Sans Authoritas

For about the 98937721st time, you take the bad guys side and say it was a foul shoot. Are you EVER going to sit back and look at one of these events and think "hey, the second amendment kept a homeowner safe, and took a bad guy off the street" or will you just nitpick into oblivion? I dont come around here much, but I have CONSISTENTLY noticed this trend in your posts. I know I'm not the only one.

Double Naught Spy
May 2, 2008, 06:38 AM
Justified in shooting a fleeing perpetrator?

That is AMAZING! You weren't there and you know the perp was fleeing versus moving to a better tactical position of cover from which to launch a second assault on the homeowner's abode. Sorry, but just because the bad guy is in motion and may be in motion away from you does not mean he is in flight and does not mean he isn't a risk and doesn't mean he isn't a viable target in Texas.

According to your fellow men on a jury, there may be such a thing. I don't know if that kind of "justification" really counts in front of the only judgment seat of any real importance.

There is such a thing and it is the law of the land, which coincides with the judgment seat of importance.

When it comes to that seat, that 18-year old better have been armed and posing an active threat when the homeowner shot at him.

Nope, not at all.

Basicaly in Texas, the burden of risk is on the intruder, not the homeowner.

I always thought that being armed for self-defense was to neutralize an immediate threat to one's life, limb, or in extreme cases, property: not to shoot at a fleeing burglar to "clean up society," as some here seem to feel.

-Sans Authoritas

Sato Ord
May 2, 2008, 08:40 AM
And 30 years ago I got the "drag him inside advice," but, even then, knew it was wrong.

Yeah, I can remember hearing that when I was about eight. That's over forty years ago. It's not just an internet myth, it's been going around for a long time.

I think it came out of California.:D

Justified in shooting a fleeing perpetrator? According to your fellow men on a jury, there may be such a thing. I don't know if that kind of "justification" really counts in front of the only judgment seat of any real importance.

When it comes to that seat, that 18-year old better have been armed and posing an active threat when the homeowner shot at him.

Not our place to make such a judgment call. That is for the courts to decide. Unless the "only judgment seat" you are talking about is God. I think that in the latter case, I'll keep my opinion out from between that man and the divine.

I always thought that being armed for self-defense was to neutralize an immediate threat to one's life, limb, or in extreme cases, property: not to shoot at a fleeing burglar to "clean up society," as some here seem to feel.

-Sans Authoritas

Well, I personally made a decision long ago that I won't defend property with deadly force. There is nothing I own that can't be replaced; it's only money.

However, when someone breaks into my house I can't be sure that his intentions are to grab my electronics and go, especially if it is the second time he's broken in, and even more so if he breaks in while someone is home.

The homeowner felt that this clown was a continued threat. After all, this was the second time around. Should he have waited until the BG escalated his tactics to armed robbery?

The Great State of Texas has decided not to press charges, that's good enough for me.

csmkersh
May 2, 2008, 09:32 AM
Justified in shooting a fleeing perpetrator? According to your fellow men on a jury, there may be such a thing. I don't know if that kind of "justification" really counts in front of the only judgment seat of any real importance.That Court's justification can be found in the Torah/Old Testament. A thief in the night is one type of crime that called for the death penalty.

Sans Authoritas
May 2, 2008, 09:52 AM
lloydkristmas wrote: For about the 98937721st time, you take the bad guys side and say it was a foul shoot. Are you EVER going to sit back and look at one of these events and think "hey, the second amendment kept a homeowner safe, and took a bad guy off the street" or will you just nitpick into oblivion?

First, I will never say "The Second Amendment kept someone safe." It doesn't. It sits there, not unlike words on a piece of parchment, and gets ignored by congressmen and senators and the general populace. People who keep firearms keep themselves safe.

This isn't about "Whatever the bad guy did was good, and everything the good guy did was bad." This is about, "He was likely absolutely justified in shooting the man when he was in his house at night, which we may rightfully assume is an indication that the thief expects that someone is home, and can be presumed to be there to harm people, but taking that second shot sounds really sketchy."

That, csmkersh, is the meaning of the Torah's "thief in the night" mentality. It doesn't mean you chase him down and kill him, unless you have a good reason to believe that he came to kill you, or suspect that he'll be back to kill you. It means that you can assume that someone who breaks in during the day expects no one to be home, and therefore probably does not mean to do any deadly harm, but rather is there to steal possessions. And at night, the criminal very well knows someone could be home, which is an indication of far more evil intent. Running away as fast as you can when you see someone is armed is an indication that the bad guy has no intent of getting involved in a violent confrontation, thus eliminating the "immediate threat of grave bodily harm" requirement of self-defense.

As for approving of a shoot or a defensive action taken? I've approved of the actions of news stories involving self-defense stories (especially by High Road members) more than I've ever disapproved of them. It seems that a lot of sketchy shoots end up on this board, however, precisely because they are sketchy. But you'll find whatever you look for, and you won't find what you don't look for in my posts on such matters, lloyd.

-Sans Authoritas

Sans Authoritas
May 2, 2008, 10:03 AM
Justified in shooting a fleeing perpetrator?

Double Naught Spy wrote: That is AMAZING! You weren't there and you know the perp was fleeing versus moving to a better tactical position of cover from which to launch a second assault on the homeowner's abode. Sorry, but just because the bad guy is in motion and may be in motion away from you does not mean he is in flight and does not mean he isn't a risk and doesn't mean he isn't a viable target in Texas.

Double, I have never said that a fleeing, armed man who turns around with a weapon must not be shot. In fact, I mention that possibility later on in my post, and have affirmed the legitimacy of such an action in other posts. Nor does spinning around with a weapon constitute "fleeing," does it? In such a case, someone immediately becomes an active threat once again. And in that case, you would not be shooting a "fleeing perpetrator," which the article said the man did. If the article was wrong, no worries. If he did, in fact, shoot a "fleeing perpetrator," which was the only issue I addressed, (despite your accusations), there are problems with the shoot.

However, I think there are solid grounds to question the judgment of a man who alters a crime scene after a shooting. Don't you?

As for a "viable target in Texas," no matter what a lawbook says, it is moot unless it conforms to human nature and morality, which do not suddenly and amazingly change as soon as you cross some political boundary of jurisdiction.

-Sans Authoritas

blkbrd666
May 2, 2008, 10:10 AM
Sounds like he was a "repeat" criminal. Do people not ever take into account how a criminal thinks? Some have logic and if you are armed, they won't go there. The other 95%, that are complete idiots, don't think logically. There are theives in prison right now who were held at gunpoint, or wounded, by the homeowner and carted off to prison. Their thoughts include, "when I get out, I'm going to get him back", and they ARE most likely going to get out. Not only are they going to get out, they are going to get out more "hardened" and with more training than they had when they went in. The next time, the homeowner is at a disadvantage and my never get the chance to defend himself...may get killed in his sleep along with the rest of his family. Now, would you sleep better at night wondering "when" he's going to come back, or "knowing" he never will?

csmkersh
May 2, 2008, 10:17 AM
That, csmkersh, is the meaning of the Torah's "thief in the night" mentality. It doesn't mean you chase him down and kill him, unless you have a good reason that he came to kill you, or suspect that he'll be back to kill you.

And self defense isn't a right, it's a duty:

From the Talmud Tractates B'rachos (Blessings) pp 58a & 62b and Sanhedrin (law courts) pp 72a

"and the Torah says 'If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.'"

As to the shooters judgment, I agree it wasn't the best. NEVER mess with a crime scene. You could turn a good shoot into a charge of manslaughter or murder. So far, DA Reed hasn't had time to take this to the grand jury. They are the final arbiters, not the police, as to whether this goes to trial.

Ash
May 2, 2008, 10:18 AM
I liked the Russian General in The Bear and the Dragon novel by Tom Clancy who noted, after the massacre of many Chinese troops who had invaded Russia. The General, when the American was stunned at how quickly and completely the invading soldiers were killed, observed "Better if they had never come here in the first place."

Scarborough would be alive today had he not broken into the house. That he died was a direct consequence of his actions.

Ash

FieroCDSP
May 2, 2008, 10:19 AM
I've always been of the opinion that a burgler has to have thought about the risks at some point, and decided that the "reward" is more desirable than the risks. That being said, if they enter your home while you're there, they are saying that they don't care you're there, and that they don't care if they're shot dead.

For someone to commit a felony in Texas, they've got to be stupid, desperate, or insane. All three are very dangerous mindsets to deal with, and thus deadly force might be required.

I can't say I'd be proud about shooting a man in the back, but if this was the same burgler that broke in earlier in the week in an area known for it's break-ins, I have to say that a public service has likely been done.

primlantah
May 2, 2008, 01:01 PM
I've always been of the opinion that a burgler has to have thought about the risks at some point, and decided that the "reward" is more desirable than the risks. That being said, if they enter your home while you're there, they are saying that they don't care you're there, and that they don't care if they're shot dead.

For someone to commit a felony in Texas, they've got to be stupid, desperate, or insane. All three are very dangerous mindsets to deal with, and thus deadly force might be required.

I can't say I'd be proud about shooting a man in the back, but if this was the same burgler that broke in earlier in the week in an area known for it's break-ins, I have to say that a public service has likely been done.

+1

plexreticle
May 2, 2008, 01:32 PM
I think most people agree the guy had it coming.

Police said Tuesday that Thames likely won’t be charged with a crime

I hope he isn't for the sake of his finical future. I personally don't want to pay for a test case for shooting some guy running from my house and then dragging the body around.

Carry Big Stick
May 2, 2008, 05:37 PM
What would happen if they made reading the laws on use of deadly force in high school mandatory? Could that perhaps help some of the kids that are headed in the wrong direction realize that they could die for doing such stupid stuff. Another approach would be if they started teaching self defense instead of only thing you can do is call 911 and wait, would we see a lower crime rate several years later when these kids get out of school and know others are not afraid of defending themselves with force. As it is now the only thing I bet they worry about is if they can get out of there before the cops arrive. I don't see that happening in schools anytime soon, all they teach is guns are bad and will shot you according to my 7 yr old. After reading the laws for my CHL I found them to be a lot more broader than I thought they would be, I can only imagine what a BG would think if he read them.:uhoh: In this case,

Sans Authoritas
May 2, 2008, 08:24 PM
Sans Authoritas wrote:
That, csmkersh, is the meaning of the Torah's "thief in the night" mentality. It doesn't mean you chase him down and kill him, unless you have a good reason that he came to kill you, or suspect that he'll be back to kill you.


csmkersh wrote: And self defense isn't a right, it's a duty:

Quote:
From the Talmud Tractates B'rachos (Blessings) pp 58a & 62b and Sanhedrin (law courts) pp 72a


"and the Torah says 'If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him.'"

Shooting someone as he is only running away (unless, of course, he is someone who you have good reason to believe will not stop trying to kill you until you kill him) is not self-defense. Nor does the Torah say, "If an unarmed person is running away from a burglary, rise up quickly and kill him."

Self-defense can be a duty, but it is not always so. In addition, there are lots of things in the Torah that would not fly in a court of law these days, such as stoning adulterers, witches, and other violators of the moral law.

-Sans Authoritas

BruceRDucer
May 2, 2008, 08:33 PM
/


I always thought that being armed for self-defense was to neutralize an immediate threat to one's life, limb, or in extreme cases, property: not to shoot at a fleeing burglar to "clean up society," as some here seem to feel.

-Sans Authoritas


You seem to have forgotten that local CODE ENFORCEMENT usually demands that the homeowner keep the yard clean, so whatever you think about CLEANING UP SOCIETY, there's nothing wrong with cleaning up the YARD. (I don't think!:what:)

Most likely the shooter in this circumstance had the generosity to pull the wounded man inside the house to administer FIRST AID, which is what we all should do. :rolleyes:

/

Jimmy Newman
May 2, 2008, 09:08 PM
Sans Authoritas, I did not mean morally justified, I meant legally justified, which this case appears to be. You can argue morality all you want but according to the new Texas law this appears to be legally justified. As such, the guy is theoretically protected from civil suits.

Sans Authoritas
May 2, 2008, 09:34 PM
Jimmy Newman wrote: according to the new Texas law this appears to be legally justified. As such, the guy is theoretically protected from civil suits.

I never doubted that. My point is that a few people need to examine whose rules they take more seriously.

-Sans Authoritas

Double Naught Spy
May 2, 2008, 10:17 PM
I never doubted that. My point is that a few people need to examine whose rules they take more seriously.

That is exactly what the homeowner did do and you don't seem to understand that.

You seem to think that we should live by your ethics. Homey don't play dat.

lloydkristmas
May 2, 2008, 10:28 PM
I'd rather ensure that the intruder never came back to hurt me or my family, even if that means shooting him while he flees the scene. I'll protect me and mine, and thats all I know. Fortunately, Texas allows this, and I wouldnt have it any other way. I am a Christian, but that hasnt ever really influenced the way I approach self defense. I dont see why it should.

Beagle-zebub
May 2, 2008, 10:55 PM
Well, shooting him once would probably lead him to never come to that house again--I mean, with neighborhoods full of houses that aren't definitely occupied by a homeowner who is willing and able to shoot an intruder, he'd only come back if he was crazy enough to hold a grudge against the home-defending victim, which I imagine is fairly uncommon. (Stupid couldn't account for going that far out of his way.) Burglars wanna burgle, and a vendetta only gets in the way of that.

For those reasons, I think that it was reasonable for the homowner to assume that the suspect had come back for revenge, if he had indeed been chased out the night before. Then again, the burglar might have still been under the impression that, as in the night before, the homeowner was unarmed, but to have the intent of the suspect as a precondition to shooting him would be to gamble with the life of the homeowner.

I am only pointing these things out for the sake of conversation, though. Far be it from me to question the morality of someone's lawful actions on their own property.

csmkersh
May 2, 2008, 11:22 PM
Sans Authoritas, committing a hot burglary is reason enough to believe that the perp intended to do harm. For me, I'll live by Texas law, not your ethics as they could get me or my family harmed.

TexKettering
May 2, 2008, 11:27 PM
I'm sure a savvy lawyer can come up with a case. The guy was running away and was shot. The guy that shot him drug the body inside for some reason.

Not going to happen.

Protected from civil suits in justified shootings. This was a justified shooting.

You are allowed to use deadly force to stop someone fleeing a crime like this.

MechAg94
May 2, 2008, 11:41 PM
Did the article say he shot him in the back? Even if he did move the body, they should still be able to tell that.

blkbrd666
May 3, 2008, 12:21 AM
The perp is dead. There is 0.00% chance that he will rob or harm the homeowner, his family, or his neighbors in the future. This is not a "probably" won't, this is a "definitely" won't. It's also not a 3-5 or 5-10 year "vacation" from his chosen profession before returning to the job. It's a permanent "fix" to the problem that cost the taxpayers of the state nothing compared to an arrest, prosecution, defense, trial, housing/encarceration, food, clothing, cable, medical, etc.

As a side thought...I wonder how long before states will start contributing to a criminal's retirement fund while he is behind bars so he can afford to live after he has been released and "reformed"??? Before anyone jumps on this...it is sarcasm.

SiNNiK
May 3, 2008, 02:45 AM
For a long time the law has been (in Texas) that if a burgler is running off with your stuff, at night, and you have no idea where he resides, therefore having no chance of recovering your belongings later, you can shoot. Even in the back. Maybe they've changed it recently.

Jdude
May 3, 2008, 06:57 AM
Sans Authoritatis must have asbestos underwear. Sheesh! ;)

If the homeowner was not moving the guy to an illuminated area to perform first aid, I find a problem with that. But as with all news stories, we do not have all of the information and likely never will.

That said, certain 'professions' come with a few more hazards and rightfully so. Overall I think this ended in the proper way.

beaucoup ammo
May 3, 2008, 08:17 AM
Bottom line here gents, IMO, is the state of Texas has given the home owner more latitude in protecting his family, himself and their possessions which they have worked hard for. In every case "you had to be there" to fully understand what happened. The police were, and they apparently see nothing wrong with what the home owner did. Neither do I.

"Castle Doctrine" includes your vehicle as an extenstion of your "Castle." No license required.

I live less than a mile from where this happened in NE San Antonio. The area has slipped over the past 10 years and it's rare to find someone who hasn't had some form of experience along these lines. The criminals either break in to loot your house or, they've robbed a qik stop, pawn shop, whatever on Walzem or Eisenhaur (2 main drags) then run into our neighborhood looking for an open garage door, old man or woman in a car they can jack or a door to knock down.

Everyone is armed and no one would hesitate for a second to protect their families from the scum that run rampant in most every city in America.

Double Naught Spy
May 3, 2008, 09:03 AM
For a long time the law has been (in Texas) that if a burgler is running off with your stuff, at night, and you have no idea where he resides, therefore having no chance of recovering your belongings later, you can shoot. Even in the back. Maybe they've changed it recently.
Still viable, but new and improved with more options and protections under the law.

FYI, there is no law that says you can't shoot a person in the back. The location of the impact is not a governing factor in the legality of lethal force application.

csmkersh
May 3, 2008, 09:10 AM
A person acting under the color of TxPC 9.42(2)(B) or 9.42(3)(B) (http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.002.00.000009.00.htm#9.42.00) would most likely shot the perp in the back - legally.

Bear2000
May 3, 2008, 09:20 AM
I know I couldn't shoot someone in the back who was 1) not in my house and 2) running away from my house and thus 3) not directly threatening my life.

cornman
May 3, 2008, 09:29 AM
Crazy. I have had a man come into my house and sit down and have coffee at 2am. He was drunk and thought he was at home. I gave him some coffee and sent him on his way. I did not shoot him, or even yell at him. No harm done to anyone. This is not the wild west although it sound like many would like it to be. Sorry, but petty crime does not require shooting a fellow human being.

TIMC
May 3, 2008, 09:33 AM
How about a local perspective?
I drove right by the house where this happened yesterday to take my dad out to lunch. My dad lives just around the corner from where this happened. The neighborhood has had a problem with burglary and gang violence for a long time, not one of the best areas to be in. My dad is part of the neighborhood association and C.O. P. patrol, they are trying to take back their neighborhood.

My dad is a firm believer in get rid of the trash any way we can but he knows the neighborhood very well and thinks this shoot may have been a little fishy but the kid killed was no good.

My opinion, if this kid would have just been caught or got away he would do it again and maybe my dad's house would be next. The way it turned out the area is a little safer and others have been put on notice your next burglary may be your last.

beaucoup ammo
May 3, 2008, 09:40 AM
You can push people just so far. After a steady diet of break-ins, threats, gang violence and drug dealing in the neighborhood people are going to react.

I probably have run into your Dad as I'm on the Camelot Neighborhood Watch.

Mr_Rogers
May 3, 2008, 11:03 AM
Another of those endless threads where people who don't live within 500 miles of the event, don't know the local laws and who certainly don't know the circumstances, pontificate on the guilt or otherwise of the shooter/shot.

We should be putting our energy into improving our own performance, not blaming someone else when we have absolutely no idea of the full facts.

csmkersh
May 3, 2008, 11:45 AM
Thank you, Mr. Rogers.

Bear2000
May 3, 2008, 11:49 AM
I for one didn't blame anyone. I just said that I wouldn't shoot someone in the back who was running away from my house. I don't think that's very "high road," but others may disagree.

I don't know what the exact circumstances were in San Antonio, but from the available information it appears that the homeowner shot a man who was running away from his house and then dragged him back into his house.

Geronimo45
May 3, 2008, 12:01 PM
No rules against shooting in the back. This is completely legal (with the possible exception of moving the body). Moral? Well, this isn't seeing the guy a day later while eating at McD's and putting a bullet in his head. This is 'hot pursuit'.

hankdatank1362
May 3, 2008, 12:09 PM
For those of you suggesting that "man's law" is of no importance compared to God's Law, what if someone doesn't believe in a higher power?

Are they still obligated to abide themselves by your choice of ethics or values?

Or should we have what our forefathers coined a "separation of church and state" and have a written code of law that all must abide by, regardless of chosen belief system?

csmkersh
May 3, 2008, 12:10 PM
...what if someone doesn't believe in a higher power?

Switch from a .30-30 to a 300 RUM? :evil:

macadore
May 3, 2008, 12:18 PM
What would happen if they made reading the laws on use of deadly force in high school mandatory?

Excellent idea!!!

Well, shooting him once would probably lead him to never come to that house again…

That is based on the unverifiable belief that he is rational.

I wouldn't shoot someone in the back who was running away from my house.

This was the second time the perp had invaded the house. There is no reason to believe he would not have returned, at a later date, heavily armed and seeking revenge.

MechAg94
May 3, 2008, 12:20 PM
I don't know what the exact circumstances were in San Antonio, but from the available information it appears that the homeowner shot a man who was running away from his house and then dragged him back into his house.

I thought it just said he shot him when the guy was out in his yard. I didn't see where it said he shot him in the back or while he was running away. You might take that as implied, but not necessarily. If he followed him out the door to make sure he left and the guy turned back and came at him, that would still be a good shoot in most jurisdictions.

He was wrong to move the body, but if the cops had no reason to suspect anything else going on, I can't see that they would bother prosecuting him for that.

hankdatank1362
May 3, 2008, 12:23 PM
Switch from a .30-30 to a 300 RUM?

Hahahaha

101AirborneE8
May 3, 2008, 12:26 PM
OK, besides Texas' Castle Doctrine, there is the doctrine of "Fleeing Felon".

Many/most states do not allow you to shoot a felon who has finished his crime and is just fleeing, but...

The laws do state that, if a person has committed a dangerous felony, and is fleeing, and you have a reasonable belief that he shall commit another dangerous felony, that deadly force can be justified.

[Easiest example: A robber shoots at a police officer, then turns to run away, but only runs to cover and shoots again. Now the robber runs from the officer again. The officer can reasonably believe that the offender will shoot again, if given the opportunity, and so can shoot the offender while he is running.]

Burglary is considered a dangerous felony. It appears that the offender committed a previous burglary and returned to the same residence to commit another burglary. You now have a pattern that, just because he completed one crime, does not mean that he is through committing crimes against this same victim and his family. So a REASONABLE person may believe that, if he did not stop the suspect (even though he was fleeing), the suspect would return again and commit another dangerous felony against the victim's household. Therefore, the shooting may be justified under the fleeing felon doctrine.

This may not keep the incident from being scrutinized by a District Attorney, or even going before a judge. But I think that it can be pretty good weight toward acquittal.

Mr_Rogers
May 3, 2008, 01:07 PM
Some good points in the last few posts. Once again, let me plead that we all use the review of these events to better preserve ourselves, our families and our property.

These situations are more complicated than we usually imagine. What do you think of this situation because it puts another twist into the "justified shoot" question.

Facts. My home has two levels. If I hear a break-in downstairs, going down the stairs to investigate could be fatal because my legs would be visible on the stairs long before I could see what was going in the lower level. However, I could leave through a bedroom window, walk along a porch roof, jump down into a dark area and probably see the invader through the windows. I would probably be carrying a carbine. Do you think I would be justified in shooting someone in my home even though I was safely outside? What if I saw the intruder was armed even though he was no immediate threat? What if I had left my wife in the bedroom with a locked door and a pistol - which she does know how to use? Why not just shout and let the invader know you have heard him and you have a gun?

My point is, I have tried to think through the moral, tactical and legal implications of possible situations before they happen. Do I have all the answers? No. Without preaching, have you thought through your personal situation, did the person involved in this incident?

TIMC
May 3, 2008, 01:24 PM
My point is, I have tried to think through the moral, tactical and legal implications of possible situations before they happen. Do I have all the answers? No. Without preaching, have you thought through your personal situation, did the person involved in this incident?

We all can and should plan ahead but when the heat of the moment comes there usually isn't a lot of thinking going on, only reaction to fear.

Mr_Rogers
May 3, 2008, 02:30 PM
True TIMC,
The reason I choose not to judge the actions of others is because I know I am not in their mind at the instant of decision and I am well aware of how chaotic that mind can be under stress. All the well known factors tend to sharpen or dull our responses to stimuli. I think it has often been demonstrated that two people observing the same events under stress can have totally different recall of what actually happened.

It has also been often demonstrated that thinking through a scenario and forming a plan, that must be somewhat flexible, leads to more controlled response to a stressful event and removes some of that reaction to fear. We see this in military and LEO training. Unfortunately (or I should probably say fortunately), in our normal lives, we do not get enough exposure to stressful situations to vaccinate us against fear.

Old Guy
May 3, 2008, 03:06 PM
The amount of people I have taught to defend themselves with Pistols over many years, quite a goodly proportion of them have recounted times when Leo's have advised, drag them inside, or put a kitchen knife in their hand!

So in essence many of these wrong advice given people think "Sounds good!"
and that mindset sat there, till I pointed out "Oh NO!"

As anyone considered the fact that no thought was in the shooters head, non! just a head full of fear, adrenalin, and loud noise induced shock.

101AirborneE8
May 3, 2008, 03:08 PM
Mr_Rogers

First, I would personally have no problem with you capping a dirtball intruder who breaks into your house. But there is the problem of after-action review.

Insofar as your question about going outside & coming back at a burglar, it may be tactically wise, but could be construed by a prosecutor/jury as intentionally entrapping him.

A prosecutor (or litigation attorney attempting to get easy money for Mamma Dirtball & Baby Dirtballs) would advance the theory that you intentionally climbed out to the roof, and broke into your own home with the intention of cornering the intruder and leaving him with no means of escape so that you could shoot him (even if there is a back door, he'll claim that the burglar had no way of knowing that).

Not wanting to see you get your legs taken out while coming down the stairs, what should you do?

I don't know how much climbing is involved with your "Plan A". It would be a shame to be attempting to stop a burglary, fall, break your back, then have the burglar hurt you or your wife while you're laying there like a turtle on his back.

IF you are going to confront (and possibly shoot) a burglar, one of the wisest things that you can do is to have an inexpensive digital recorder handy. (They start on eBay for $28.00). It should have at least 15 or 20 minutes of recording time, and be capable of being downloaded onto a computer and disk. Start recording as soon as you have armed yourself.

Then before you start shooting, order the offender to stop, beg the offender to stop, plead with him to lie down, to stop resisting, to put down the fireplace poker, or whatever. If you have to shoot, continue to plead with the burglar to stop, even while you're shooting. Then after the fact, make a sorrowful noise and ask why he made you do that.

Then when the investigators arrive, make certain that you and your attorney each have a copy of the recording before you surrender the device.

Criminals say stupid things such as "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to f... you up." Such a recording can highly bolster your case.

Why do you think that police departments have invested all that money in dash-cams? One successful lawsuit can pay for the cameras for the entire fleet.

And since you know that it is being recorded, and that it is going to be listened to again, you can say the proper things.

csmkersh
May 3, 2008, 03:26 PM
Under Texas law, that's really immaterial, 101AirborneE8. Once the perp committed the hot burglary, he had signed his life away. You illegally enter a house, car or place of business that is occupied, you've just entered a free fire zone and are SOL.

I suspect that the naysayers have not been in this situation. Until you have, perhaps moral and legal judgments should be left to the DA and grand jury.

101AirborneE8
May 3, 2008, 03:27 PM
By the way, don't worry about admissibility of such a recording. If you are within your own house, there is virtually no restriction, and you don't have to advise the Dirtball that the incident is being recorded.

And in MANY states, you don't even need to worry when carrying a covert recording device on your person outside of the home, as long as ONE person involved in the conversation knows that it is there.

In legal terms, it is just a corroboration of your testimony.

Legal problems come when the device is left unattended with the purpose of recording something that you would, otherwise, not be privilege to. That is a "bug".

The way that you would be using it is a "wire".

101AirborneE8
May 3, 2008, 03:35 PM
csmkersh

While this thread started about a Texas shooting, this is being looked at by folks from all over. All that I was getting at was that you will never be sorry for putting yourself in as strong of a position as possible.

In 23 years of criminal investigation and narcotics work, I was only in one officer-involved-shooting.

I was never charged, never sued, and never disciplined.

Must have been a good shooting, huh?

Mr_Rogers
May 3, 2008, 03:40 PM
Airborne,
Thanks. I did not intend to say what I would intend to do (please note I used the word "could" not "would"). I was trying to point out that I had options and that all of these options would have arguments for and against. That is why we should carefully consider those options so that we know all of the implications.

You are correct. Although I think I could "tactically" out-flank an intruder with the "climbing off the porch" routine the results "legally" and "morally" may not be as desired. Now, another thing I "could" do is to head down my drive in the dark and close the gate across the drive thus trapping the intruder as he tries to escape, or even disable the intruder's car (he would have to have a car somewhere nearby). Certainly, I could call the police.

Sounds good hey! Trap him with the evidence and hold him until the police arrive. But what if he fights back after finding himself trapped and now I shoot him? Now I've definitely shot him during retreat. But I was protecting myself from his attack while he was trying to escape, I claim. No doubt his mother's attorney will claim I used excessive force to prevent his escape. We all know that none of this is simple but we had better think it through because it is, literally, the difference between a "no bill" and spending a few years with Bubba and his unpleasant friends.

In the OP case the shooter may avoid prison because of a particular Texas law. In other states he may not be so fortunate. It is like gambling. If you do not have a good idea of the rules and techniques don't play.

bigdaddydan
May 3, 2008, 03:50 PM
well god bless the castle doctrine law the bad guy got what was coming to him and god bless the NRA because without them texas would have never had a castle doctrine law or any other state who has implemented it either................

csmkersh
May 3, 2008, 03:55 PM
In 23 years of criminal investigation and narcotics work, I was only in one officer-involved-shooting.

I was never charged, never sued, and never disciplined.

Must have been a good shooting, huh?

Yes, it was a good shoot.

Myself, as a civilian, I was the shooter in two; both at night and both in Texas. Officers did not arrest me nor did they take my .357 for evidence. One officer suggested that maybe I ought to switch to a shotgun as he thought I'd missed my target.

BAT1
May 3, 2008, 04:10 PM
I was born in San Antonio and I'm ashamed of what's happened to that city.

A man has got to know his limitations and pay for his actions. One more bad guy off the streets. Let's see CNN do a story on that. Not.

101AirborneE8
May 3, 2008, 04:11 PM
Air-borne!!!!!!!!!!!

csmkersh
May 3, 2008, 04:17 PM
Gawd, that reminds me of the guards at the gate at Campbell. They'd pop to attention, snap a salute to my Colonel, and shout, "Airborne," to which he'd replay, "All the way."

101AirborneE8
May 3, 2008, 04:26 PM
.......and then some.

saspic
May 4, 2008, 03:20 AM
The determining factor in judging this thing for me has to be the fact the guy broke in two nights in a row. Once a criminal has identified a "soft target," they will hit it until they are stopped.

Another thing that may have been going through the guys mind is a very high profile home invasion that happened 5 days earlier.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA042508.01A.los_barrios_homicide.1f13110.html
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA.050108.1A.barrios.b7cde07e.html
Viola Barrios started a Mexican food restaurant in the late '70's because, as a single mother, she simply had no other way to feed her kids and put a roof over their heads. It became a local institution. She remained hard working, often handmaking tortillas herself and declining to move into the luxurious house she could now afford.
Finally, at 76, she decided to move up from the decent house in the decent suburban neighborhood she had lived in for a couple of decades. (I lived a 2 minute walk away until I was 12!) The day before the move, the goblin next door broke in, put an arrow through her head, bought some gasoline with her card, and burned her body. (waiting for England to propose a "Robin Hood" ban)
They later caught him. The D.A. has said she wants to seek the death penalty, but the family wants to forgive and even tried to pay for his defense.:confused:

My point is, people here are much more aware of the dangers of criminals in their home, and the D.A.'s office doesn't seem to be showing leniency.:cool:

beaucoup ammo
May 4, 2008, 08:02 AM
“like to go string this guy up myself.” DA Reed is a woman who is short on words..big on action. One of the reasons we like her a lot.

The Alamo City has grown considerably more violent in the past few years as have many other places. CCW is up and criminals are starting to get the message: If they break in a house, try to hi-jack a vehicle or rob someone, they stand a good chance of paying sooner rather than later.

Big45
May 4, 2008, 08:30 AM
Crazy. I have had a man come into my house and sit down and have coffee at 2am. He was drunk and thought he was at home. I gave him some coffee and sent him on his way. I did not shoot him, or even yell at him. No harm done to anyone. This is not the wild west although it sound like many would like it to be. Sorry, but petty crime does not require shooting a fellow human being.

No one eye roll thingy'd this one yet?

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

You know that part I bolded, I hear that phrase used in certain camps all the time:scrutiny:

I do not consider an unknown adult aged male in my residence without my permission, petty crime. I consider it an act of aggression. The law would deem it an "invasion" and dependant upon several variables, anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony. If it were only me to worry about I might think about it for a split second. But since I am responsible for my family's well-being, I would not hesitate.

And one more thing....

GOD BLESS TEXAS

csmkersh
May 4, 2008, 09:59 AM
Naw, Big45. It would have been a waste of time and over his head. :banghead:

At the very least, he would have had to assume the position and wait for the cops.

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