But honey, we live in a nice neighborhood, we don't need guns.


December 11, 2003, 07:47 AM

Two dead after family surprises intruder in Sugar Land
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

SUGAR LAND -- A Sugar Land mother and son were fatally shot and two other family members wounded after they returned to their upscale home Wednesday night and surprised an intruder, police said.

The victims, whose identities were not released, were shot about 8:20 p.m. in their home in the 1100 block of Heron Way in Sugar Lakes subdivision, an upper-middle class neighborhood with houses valued at $200,000 and higher.

"The suspect shot all four family members," said police Sgt. Mark Grothaus. "We're still conducting the search (for the suspect) at this time."

The son died at the home, while his mother, 51, died at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

The father, 55, was in Memorial Hermann in unknown condition, while another son was taken by ambulance to a Sugar Land-area hospital.

The burglar was wearing some type of mask, but police had no other description of him.

Nearby residents said the sons had been home for holiday break from college.

"This is shocking. They were salt of the earth, lovely people," said Chris Woessner, who has lived near the family for almost two decades. "This is a very peaceful, quiet neighborhood."

His wife, Chrissy, said of the mother: "She was very sweet, loved her family and loved their boys. This just cuts to my heart."

She said the nature of the crime in the quiet, bedroom community has left some residents in fear.

"I just live around the corner -- something like this could happen to me," she said. "I pray for their family."

A handful of concerned neighbors gathered around the crime scene tape that stretched across the street while police and tracking dogs from the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Department searched for the assailant.

"The dogs are pretty good and we set up a perimeter fairly quickly," Grothaus said.

Emma G. Piepenbrok, who lives next to the victims, described the family as "wonderful people" who would often check her mail for her.

She said the husband was in the construction business and his wife was a teacher. They had lived there for at least 20 years.

"They have been such good neighbors to me," Piepenbrok said.

She said she did not hear gunshots but heard a loud "crash" sound followed by a man's hollering. She went to her front door to check the disturbance, but saw nothing. Shortly afterward, she said, police and ambulances arrived.

Beverly Campbell, who lives four houses from the victims, said she did not hear shots but learned of the incident when ambulances arrived and a Life Flight helicopter landed near her front yard.

"It's so sad a whole family (was shot)," said Campbell, who doesn't know the victims. "It just occurred to me (that) it could have easily been us -- if it was just random and they didn't know the people who did this.

"I was just talking to my son on Internet (e-mail), telling him about the shooting. He's in shock because he always felt so safe here. It's always been a very quiet, safe neighborhood. All our neighbors have been here for years."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sugar Land Criminal Investigators Division at 281-275-2524 or Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at 281-342-8477.

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El Tejon
December 11, 2003, 08:11 AM
Place sounds familiar. Is that where all the execs from Enron lived?:confused:

December 11, 2003, 08:29 AM
The graveyards are full of people who said "it will never happen to me".

December 11, 2003, 08:31 AM
returned to their upscale home Wednesday night and surprised an intruder, police said.
an upper-middle class neighborhood with houses valued at $200,000 and higher.
Wow!!! Upscale for $200,000. That might get you a 3 bedroom, 30 yr old house around here in an okay neighborhood. I forgot how cheap it was to live in Texas. Upscale here starts at $500,000 and not even near the water.


December 11, 2003, 08:45 AM
The 'nice neighborhood' comment is the most unfathomable statement people make. The ramifications of the automobile, much less public transportation just don't soak in, with the bovine grazing complacently.

A new family (mid-30's), from Chicago, just moved into a house close to us (two months ago now). They have two 2WD imported sedans. The husband 'wants to give his family the wilderness experience, the joy of living in the forest.' We met them while they, unaware that everything herebouts is private land were on our property - and he was smoking amidst thigh-high dead, brittle grass!

The woman (who was carrying an infant - diabetic, we learned - "The hospital isn't too far away, is it?") looked in wonder at the sweep of forest jsut a quarter-mile away, and than asked what had been making all the noise the previous night. I pointed to fresh mountain lion tracks not a yard away. . .

She turned white as a ghost. She mentioned 'At least we don't have to worry about crime and drugs up here!"

Susan went into the house and handed her the Neighborhood Watch sheet that listed two meth labs busted within half a mile, and reports of gang activity coming up here during the day to rob unoccupied homes.

She asked the woman if she knew how to shoot.

"We don't believe in guns - that's what the police are for!"

When told that law enforcement is thin, and no one is on duty between 2am and 6am, the woman trembled.

Yesterday I saw a 'For Sale' sign on their driveway.

I hope they go back to Chicago.

December 11, 2003, 09:16 AM
Surprising someone in my apartment is my biggest fear. I work in a federal building (no weapons) and park in a secure lot (so no weapons in car either) on an army base (car subject to regular random searches for weapons). I don't really have a problem being unarmed at work what with the fences and armed guards and such, but coming home is a little tense sometimes.

Partisan Ranger
December 11, 2003, 09:42 AM
I have a pistol in a gun safe upstairs and down but I don't always take one with me and carry in my car. Now I think I better start packing again when I go to work and have a gun at the ready when I walk in the door at night. These stories are a big reason why I have guns.

December 11, 2003, 10:00 AM
We live in a 'nice' neighborhood. One of my neighbors asked why I felt I needed a gun, so I told her - There are three registered sex offenders in the next neighborhood over, within the las 18 months there was one warm burglary on the next block, there have been several attempted car-jackings and rapes in the Metro parking lot, a murder in the apartments behing the local grocery, a drive-by shooting at the high school and a couple of home invasions, all within a mile and half radius of where we were standing. APBnews.com put our zipcode at the low end of moderate risk.

The look on her face was priceless (Ignorance is bliss?), my question to her was "Why don't you have one?":evil: (actually, I offered to teach her the basics and take her shooting, no takers yet -)

December 11, 2003, 10:20 AM
I live in a small farming community north of Tucson, and about 100 miles north of the border. It's quiet and peaceful, in a mobile home park full of retirees. I carry 24/7, my wife carries 24/7, and several neighbors carry 24/7. Nothing has happened here beyond an unlocked car having the radio stolen two years ago....yet. But we still have deadbolts, chainlocks, alarm systems, dogs, weapons, reloads, and, *yawn* cell phones.

December 11, 2003, 10:27 AM
If I were a self-respecting bad guy I would give up robbing people in poor neighborhoods. Here is a shocking fact: poor people have no money. Now, rich people have money and things worth stealing. Therefore, I would hop into my stolen car and commute out to nice quiet suburbs where people leave their doors unlocked and have ridiculous left-wing lunatic theories about guns.

December 11, 2003, 10:29 AM
there is no neighborhood that is totally safe from crime. In the city there are gangs and in the country there are meth labs. the complacency some people adopt because they live in a "nice" place is both funny and sad

December 11, 2003, 10:55 AM
Mrs. Foggy & I live in what we consider a "nice, safe neighborhood", in the far eastern 'Burbs of Cleveland. But that doesn't stop me from keeping my 1911-A1 as a bedside table companion.

A few years back, there were only a couple of lots left vacant. When the very last house was being built, I was awakened one night by the sound of sirens and flashing red/blue lights. Piecing it together the next day, with the help of guy next door (retired city PD detective), seems that a group of folks were operating a "Midnight Discount Building Supply" shop.

There were 5 or 6 young guys that were doing contract home remodelling, at hugely cheaper prices than anyone else. They were able to do that by [ahem] "obtaining" their supplies from houses being built. They got busted by someone on the next street over who was sitting out on his deck at 2:00AM, having a cold one, because his A/C had gone out. Guy saw the pickup come into the street, douse the lights, someone jumped out of the back of the pickup, and ran up the driveway, and opened the garage. Pickup drove around the cul-de-sac, then pulled into the new house garage, door went down. When they came out of the garage, the Police were waiting.

Note to bad guys...When the police have the street blocked with 2 cars, don't try jumping the curb at high speed into someone's yard, particularly if that yard has the fire hydrant. You may get the engine compartment/crankcase power-washed by the now broken hydrant/pipe stub......

December 11, 2003, 10:58 AM
This sounds allot like the neighborhood that I live in. I will have to send this story to my wife. I am glad I have spent the time to put together a self defense plan for my house. If anyone gets any updates to this story please post them.

December 11, 2003, 11:19 AM
Yeah whatever. I live in a quiet town with little crime that I know of. Yet one night about two months ago about 5 local leos were giving a older guy (30's-40's) that's lived in the complex a stern talking to about stalking our woman neighbor. Our neighbor is from Los Angeles and said she came here to get out of all the crime.:uhoh:

But it can't happen here.:rolleyes:

December 11, 2003, 11:42 AM
This sounds allot like the neighborhood that I live in.

This is the neighborhood that I live in....

I did send this to my wife....

Hopefully she will finally get the picture.

FYI, more information here:


December 11, 2003, 12:30 PM
Sharon Tate lived in good neighborhood too...................:uhoh:

December 11, 2003, 12:39 PM
i live in a nice little town a few miles north east of San Jose CA, i paid 234k for a 900 sq ft condo last year. within a 1 mile radius (probly closer to 1/2 mile) there are mega gated complexes of multi million dollar homes including one that was listed for 15mil last year. its easy to get in there as they leave the gates open from about 4:30 to 6pm becasue all the execs are on their way back in in their 100k mercedes sedans... theres a dozen or so sex offenders (per the town PD website) including one on my street. a house was busted into a few blocks away a few months back . generally low crime area, but.... my wife thinks im paranoid when i insist that no wrapped presents be left under the tree and the the blinds closed during the day when im not there...

nothing to steal at my house but my TV and my guns (i'm not paying the hospital bill for some BG who gets a hernia trying to boost my safe! ) ... at the rich folks house im sure they got nicer stuff...

when i was a kid one of the guys in my boy scout troop, his father was shot when the whole family walked in on Thanksgiving nite on a burglary in process... guy lived, but is still peeing in a bottle in his wheelchair. Think Thanksgiving is any fun for them ? AFAIK they never caught the guy.

there is a fine line between living your life paranoid and being alert prepared !!

December 11, 2003, 02:04 PM
We also live in a 'nice, quiet' neighborhood...and we had an attempted break in a while back. I think the sound of a 12ga and an irate 'Mama' letting them know I would shoot was all it took...this time. (Hubby wasn't home...just six kids and me.)

Time needed to get firearm ready by Homeowner: less than 10 seconds

Response time by local sheriffs office: greater than 10 minutes

Time needed for BGs to get in: Didn't wanna chance it... ;)

December 11, 2003, 02:42 PM
Let me re state my Mantra!! For all, but more so for those Bliss Ninny types who think they'd never need a gun...... just cos of where they live.

''Expect the unexpected''

"Don't assume ....... "

December 11, 2003, 02:57 PM
The sound of a shotgun slide being racked back and forth is one of Nature's signs that you don't want to mess with the homeowner...

As an earlier poster noted, the bad guys have figured out that (a) robbing poor folks doesn't pay, and (b) the stereotypical uppermiddleclass or rich folks sniff at the thought of "Guns" because that's what the police are for.

Bill Hook
December 11, 2003, 03:13 PM
I hope they go back to Chicago.

They're still better off than in Chicago. :rolleyes:

I hope so too.

December 11, 2003, 03:32 PM
What gets me are people who "don't believe in guns."

Excuse me, campers, but we're not talking about superstition here... We're talking about something that you can reach out and touch.

Now, what is it that they don't believe in? Do they not believe that anyone will do them violence? Or do they not believe that they should be able to defend themselves or others against violence?

Next time you hear someone say "I don't believe in guns," ask them to clarify.

I don't believe in Bigfoot, but if I ever see him in the forest, I'll have to build a wing to house the trophy...

December 11, 2003, 07:52 PM
No updates online yet. Standby.

Standing Wolf
December 11, 2003, 08:55 PM
The only safe neighborhood is the one criminals can't drive to.

cracked butt
December 11, 2003, 09:09 PM
I live in a nice neighborhood, only difference is that I would say 3/4 of the people on my street are hunters and own at least a rifle or shotgun or two. Then again most of the people in my neighborhood are the salt of the earth, hard working, all around good people type with lots of common sense.

December 11, 2003, 11:19 PM
She asked the woman if she knew how to shoot.

"We don't believe in guns - that's what the police are for!"You should have lauged hysterically and said "Good one. So, you do know how to shoot.":evil:

We havent had a crime in my neighborhood in 15 years (unless you count twits who dont know how to drive on 1/2" of snow...), and that was my dad's stereo. I keep a 12ga cruiser-ready and 00buck and slugs on the buttcuff.

December 11, 2003, 11:46 PM
"don't believe in guns." I'm increasingly of the opinion that many people in fact literally do not believe in guns (or other weapons) - such items are simply a social mythos perpetrated in video and print media. Oh sure, they have "facts" and "opinions" about them - much like UFOs and Bigfoot - but they do not fundamentally believe they exist. As such, when faced with the real thing they suffer cognitive dissonance, and respond by wishing the offending item back into the realm of mythos, either actively ("ban them!"), passively ("it's just a toy, ignore it") or freeze up completely ("don't move, maybe it won't see me").

December 11, 2003, 11:48 PM
Surprising someone in my apartment is my biggest fear.
That's the main reason we have an alarm.

Push the front door open a crack and listen for the continuous beep that tells you the alarm is still working but hasn't been set off while you were gone.

If you hear the beep go in and turn off the alarm. If you don't, run for the car and call the cops.

December 12, 2003, 09:47 AM
Then again most of the people in my neighborhood are the salt of the earth, hard working, all around good people type with lots of common sense. This means a lot coming from a guy named 'cracked butt'. :neener:

December 12, 2003, 03:23 PM
The correct title of this thread should be;

But honey, we live in a nice neighborhood, so we need guns to protect us from those who don't.

Splat Shot
December 12, 2003, 10:21 PM
I am fortunate enough to live in a great area of fairly expensive homes. In the last couple of years we have had car jackings where the owner was actually followed home and the thief shot him in the face to get the car.
One woman on a morning walk got sliced up by a guy with a knife (she died) and some idiot got shot dead by the police not 400 yards from my house when he pulled a gun on them when they asked if he needed help.

Believe me, no neighborhood is safe. Take what ever precautions you need to protect your family.

December 12, 2003, 11:15 PM
Believe me, no neighborhood is safe. True enough Splat Shot .. and that is why I keep repeating this same message - so as people will keep it in mind......

''Expect the unexpected''

''Don't assume''.

I live in what might be seen as a fairly ''ordinary'' area of housing ... no one round here is particularly wealthy!! I actually choose that - although we could have afforded somewhere a bit better. However - I like being more ''unobtrusive'' I guess .. but still am aware of certain ''odd'' things that go on in the area from time - and so nothing can be taken for granted.

Hardly means constant orange!! But certainly our famed ''situational awareness'' is good to remember.

December 12, 2003, 11:59 PM
This is why I've said..."bad guys have CARS...so they can go where ever they want to do their crimes!" If I had a nickle for every time I've said that I'd go buy...a box of AMMO! :D

Ky Larry
December 13, 2003, 12:36 AM
I live in a nice neighborhood with hardworking, decent people. Last July, someone kicked in my next-door neighbors back door in broad daylight and took his TV's, stereo, digital camera, jewelry, etc. The police tracked the theives to a group of neighborhod teen agers from our nice neighborhood from good families. It seems the nice kids had developed a crack habit and needed the money for their dealer. Crime and violence are everywhere. There are no safe neighborhoods. Be prepared.

December 13, 2003, 12:47 AM

"We don't believe in guns - that's what the police are for!"

Someone, please help me understand.

When victimized by crime, why is the first considered action by people who "don't belive in guns" to call people with guns to come and save them?


Ant Mod
December 13, 2003, 12:56 AM
an upper-middle class neighborhood with houses valued at $200,000 and higher.

Did everyone know I am upper middle class? I sure as hell didnt.

December 13, 2003, 01:10 AM
Psst! Hey, everyone! Don't tell Ant Mod, but he's upper middle class! {snicker} :evil:

December 13, 2003, 04:14 AM
The MEDIAN price for homes in the COUNTY just went over $400,000 here (it's insane yes, but a damn neat place to live I have to say. Quiet small town of 50k people or so. Great area to raise kids.)

Some of you may remenber Poly Klass. The young girl who was kidnaped, raped, and murdered in a pre-meditated attack.

I helped search for her when she was still 'missing'.

I live less than a mile from her home.

I went to junior highschool WITH HER and knew her as an aquaintaince.

It will not happen again, not because of any geography, but because *I* will stop it. I wish like hell I could A) have knowledge, training, and use of guns when I was that age and B) had taught Poly the same and gotten her or her mom/dad a Glock or shotgun or AR-15 or three.

December 13, 2003, 07:04 AM

Reward at $25,000 for tips in shooting
Fund created for Sugar Land victims
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

SUGAR LAND -- The reward amount for tips in the shooting of a Sugar Land family has been increased to $25,000 with the establishment of a fund Friday.

The attack Wednesday night left two people dead and two others wounded.

Police are hoping the lure of cash will prompt someone to provide information leading to the man who opened fire on the family members as they entered their home.

The City of Sugar Land put up a $10,000 reward, and friends of the family set up a reward fund containing another $15,000, said Sugar Land police spokeswoman Pat Whitty.

Patricia Whitaker, 51, her husband, Norman Kent Whitaker, 55, and their son Kevin Whitaker, 19, walked into their house in the 1100 block of Heron Way in the Sugar Lakes subdivision and were shot by a masked man.

The couple's eldest son, Bart Whitaker, 23, was retrieving a cell phone from the car and upon hearing the shots ran to the house where he was also shot.

Kevin Whitaker was dead at the scene, and his mother died later at a Houston hospital.

Bart Whitaker was in good condition and his father was in fair condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on Friday.

Meanwhile, police continue to follow leads, but no arrests have been made, said Sugar Land Police Capt. Scott Schultz.

Sugar Land police questioned a man Thursday who had been arrested for a burglary by Houston police, but Schultz said that man is not in custody for the shootings.

Police still do not have a description of the gunman who fled on foot after the shootings.

Investigators also have not said whether anything was stolen from the two-story brick home.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund can send donations to the Tricia and Kevin Whitaker Reward Fund, Southern National Bank, 14060 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Fort Bend Crime Stoppers, 281-342-8477, or Sugar Land police, 281-275-2524.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sugar Creek Baptist Church.

December 13, 2003, 10:11 AM
"these sort of stories are they reason i have guns" - but thats exactly what they are, stories, for all the millions of ppl in the US the chances of this happening to you are so slim i mean, betting odds slim, even better that betting odds, i think 'Fox' seems to be of the case of the countrys nearly collapsing we need to defend ourselfs! cough!

December 13, 2003, 11:22 AM
If there was only one chance in five million it remains my duty to protect family and self to the best of my ability from physical harm perpetuated by others upon us. Period. Our welfare is not enhanced by placing head firmly in sand while hoping predators fail to notice buttocks waving in the air. Some embrace the statistical gamble, I don’t.

December 13, 2003, 11:38 AM
I grew up in a neighborhood full of little old ladies with nothing better to do than look out the windows all day. Now THAT was safety- if I left my car lights on my phone was guaranteed to ring within five minutes with Mrs. Palmer telling me to "turn them off, dear." Of course, it limited my activities somewhat in high school, as they were sure to tell my parents if they saw me get up to something I shouldn't have been doing or hanging around during school hours, but in hindsight that wasn't a bad thing. I miss those old ladies now.

December 13, 2003, 11:48 AM
I hope the K9 police catch this person and the dogs eat him.

Phil Ca
December 13, 2003, 12:27 PM
When we moved from the Napa Valley to the Central Valley we finally found a nice neighborhood that costs more in rent than some places. At least there are no thugs running down the streets on a regular basis like in some areas of town. So far the only crime we have observed was a stolen car one night, just a few doors down. If the owner had turned off his engine when he parked at his brothers house, the thief would not have gotton the car.

My wife would like to move to an area where we pay 300 to 400 less per month. My argument is that I do not want to live in an area where I find it necessary to carry a 12 gauge outside with me on trash night. I could and would do that if necessary however.

Even in nice areas there are people that set up meth labs and break all sorts of laws. In another nice area that adjoins ours some folks had a meth lab going until they made a fatal mistake and the house blew of the foundation. This in an area of homes valued at 250 to 300 grand.

BTW, I still believe in protecting myself. I was involved in police work for nearly 30 years and I know that they cannot be everywhere at once. In the small town where I worked reserve duty, we often reccomended that people take some responsibility to protwct themselves.

December 13, 2003, 01:06 PM
I attended Sonoma State University, just a few miles up the road from where you are. I loved the contrast of the beautiful Sonoma County, as I grew up in Los Angeles. I graduated about 30 years ago, but, knowing Petaluma as I do, Polly's kidnapping, etc., enraged and saddened me: I can't feel your pain, as you knew her, but I just wanted to say that I still feel the outrage that so many others did and still do. I'm sure you were a good friend.

December 13, 2003, 03:33 PM
Yesterday I saw a 'For Sale' sign on their driveway.

I hope they go back to Chicago.

I guess that first mountain snow we had must have changed their minds. ;)

We just bought a mountain home between Livermore and Red Feather Lakes. It's the boonies, relatively speaking, and mountain lions and black bears are prevalent. Beautiful place, great house, and lovely views.

I'll be keeping a couple of .45s, a 590, and my .458 SOCOM handy for close encounters of the 2-legged and 4-legged kind. Hopefully I'll never need any of them, but only an idiot would depend on that.

December 13, 2003, 04:45 PM
I hope the K9 police catch this person and the dogs eat him. What have you got against dogs?

December 14, 2003, 03:01 AM
Well done BB, lmao!
Happy Holidays to you & yours! And all who read this.

December 14, 2003, 03:43 AM
hansolo, thank you for your kind words. Truth be told, I knew her only as an aquaintance, but the very fact I will never ever see her face again, and her parents never will, enrages me to this day.

I love this area, and the incident is no reflection on it, other than the obvious that anything can happen anywhere, at any time. Once you accept that, taking steps to defend yourself and those you love is only natural. I will not live in fear, but I will not live in igornace either.

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