It could have been a classic tale of a man defending his family, but instead, for reasons that remain unclear, it turned into a tragedy in which two families could lose fathers: one to jail, and the other to a fatal gunshot wound.
James Keck, 24, was fueling up in Big Spring, Texas, when his truck was stolen, KOSA-TV reported.
As the thief took off, Keck jumped in another family vehicle and pursued, KOSA reported.
The chase would end with Keck telling police, “The other guy is dead.”
Now Keck faces murder charges, according to KOSA, in large part because the incident didn’t qualify as a carjacking.
“At no point was any force used to take this vehicle,” said Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker. “The deceased never fired a shot; he was not armed at any time during the incident.”
The thief merely hopped into an unattended vehicle, rather than violently forcing his way into a car.
Parker continued: “Keck made the decision to use deadly force when deadly force was not justified.”
The deceased alleged thief was 42-year-old Bobby Bricker.
According to Keck and his family, Keck pursued Bricker because he thought his 4-year-old daughter, Braylynn, was in the stolen truck, and he shot Bricker after Bricker shot at him.
But as Parker claimed, Bricker was never armed.
“I’m gonna blow your f****** head off!” Keck could be heard yelling during the incident, according to the transcript of his 911 call. “This is your last warning!”
According to the transcript, Keck did not mention that he thought his daughter was in the stolen truck.
Once both cars stopped, Keck could allegedly be heard exiting his truck.
Then, according to the 911 transcript, two gunshots rang out, followed by Keck proclaiming, “I shot him. He’s dead.”
Keck’s family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for legal fees as they fight Keck’s murder charge.
“My brother has been charged with murder for defending his own,” the page description states. “Please help if you believe in justice for James.”
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