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Man confronts crooks breaking into car in his neighborhood, so they start shooting at him. But he's armed, too — and fires right back.

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JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

Seems as though there was a time not too long ago when the average adult could successfully call out punks doing petty crime, and at worst the culprits would run off for fear of getting caught.

But as we've seen in recent years, that scenario appears to be the exception rather than the rule — and those who choose to do the noble thing may be putting their lives at risk.

That's pretty much what went down over the weekend east of downtown Houston.

Image source: KTRK-TV video screenshot

What happened?

A neighborhood resident told KTRK-TV at least three males broke into a car in the area of Nagle Street and Capitol Street — and he decided to get into his truck and confront them.

"I start honking to tell him I know they're breaking into that car," the resident, who did not want to be identified, told the station. "At that point, they turn back, and I did the same thing to light up the street."

Image source: KTRK-TV video screenshot

But the resident told KTRK that about halfway down the street, things took a terrifying turn.

"They pull out guns and start shooting," the resident told the station.

He added to KTRK that another resident in the area also saw what was happening and called police before the gunfire started.

Battling back

Fortunately, the resident who confronted the crooks came prepared with a little more than his voice and a honking truck: He pulled out his own gun and started firing back at the trio, the station said.

"I can't believe all three of these kids had guns ... and are willing to kill someone," he told KTRK, adding that they "were so aggressive coming at me" and that "they chased me all the way down the street to the walking trail."

So, he told the station, "I pull[ed] out my own gun [and] returned fire."

The station said no one was hit by the gunfire, but at least one vehicle was damaged by bullets.

Image source: KTRK-TV video screenshot

There was no word on a description of the suspects or if any arrests had been made, KTRK reported.

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