A quick-thinking former Houston firefighter opened fire on two robbers, killing one of them, after they invaded his home on Wednesday, police said.
The Houston Police Department said the homeowner, who asked not to be identified due to safety concerns, pulled into his driveway in southeast Houston at around 10 p.m. Wednesday when two armed men approached him and demanded money, KPRC reports.
They forced the man inside and reportedly pistol whipped him before searching the home for loot.
“The two males held him at gunpoint and told him that they wanted money, demanded that they go inside and, once inside, proceeded to search the house,” said Mark Coleman of HPD.
The masked gunmen ordered the homeowner, his sister and her teenaged niece to get on the ground. Unfortunately for the robbers, they failed to realize that the 58-year-old former firefighter carried a legal concealed handgun.
He waited until the time was right and then exercised his Second Amendment right.
“They made us lay down in the dining room. My niece laid on the end, my sister was in the middle and I was on the end. When we were laying there, he was ransacking the bookcase and the dining room, and I figured it was now or never. So when I got my chance, I had to take it,” the homeowner said.
He fatally shot one of the robbers and scared the other one away. The homeowner, who is also a husband and a father, said he merely did what was necessary to protect himself and his family members.
“They were in the process of searching the residence when the homeowner proceeded to use a weapon he had to shoot one of the would-be robbery suspects and exchanged gunfire with the other,” Coleman explained.
“One of the suspects was fatally wounded, detectives said. His name has not been released,” KPRC reports.
The second burglar got away, according to police. The homeowner was unable to give investigators a good description of the second man because he was wearing a mask.
“I heard what happened, and I seen the lady run out of the house, screaming ‘Help me! Help me! Somebody’s trying to rob us!,” neighbor Calvin Franklin told KHOU. “The next thing I know I hear gunshots. I heard more gunshots, and then I seen one of the suspects run around the corner.”
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Bullets struck nearby homes during the shootout, breaking glass and leaving holes.
The firefighter’s niece and sister said they witnessed the whole thing. Nobody else was struck by the bullets, but the retired firefighter was treated at the scene for a minor head injury.
Harris County officials said they were trying to determine if the crime was random or if the family was targeted for a specific reason.