A Texas father took action with his licensed firearm over the weekend after allegedly catching a man peeping at his young daughter through her bedroom window and fondling himself.
The father, along with his wife, reportedly confronted an intoxicated man who was inappropriately touching himself outside their 10-year-old daughter's window late Sunday night, according to KTRK-TV.
The child spotted the man first and screamed, alerting her parents to the situation.
When they came running into the bedroom, the couple said they saw the man looking into their child's window. The parents, both armed with handguns, then ran into the front yard and attempted to detain the "peeping Tom."
The father reportedly told Harris County Sheriff's deputies that he and his wife instructed the man to lie down in the grass and wait for police to arrive, but the suspect didn't listen. Instead, he fled across the street to a Valero gas station, and the couple followed him.
At the gas station, the father recalled to KTRK that while he went inside to ask the attendant to call the police, his wife held the suspect at gunpoint.
The suspect, however, was able to wrestle with the mother and take her gun away. The father said he exited the gas station to find the man pointing a gun at his wife — and that's when he opened fire, striking the man three times.
According to the sheriff's office, the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital in critical but stable condition. No other injuries were reported.
Deputies noted that both the husband and wife are licensed handgun carriers.
The mother, who wishes to remain unidentified, later recalled the terrifying details of the incident to KPRC-TV.
"She looks over at the window and this guy is at her window," the mother said of her daughter. "I can't say that he tried to take my daughter's innocence. He took my daughter's innocence."
Then describing what was going through her mind when the suspect wrestled with her in the gas station parking lot, she said, "He is wrestling with me, with my gun, and I'm like, 'I'm not going to let you get my gun, you are not going to kill me or shoot me.'"
"My husband just said he heard a 'ca, ca,' but by that time the guy had already grabbed me, got my gun, and pulled it on myself," she said.
"We didn't want this guy to get shot," the mother added. "We were waiting for police to detain him because I'm pretty sure if he did this to my children, he's doing it to a lot of other children out here."
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"We are praying for the suspect and we are also praying for his family," the mother went on to say. "Because [just like how] we have children, a mother, a father, grandparents, and friends, and other family — he does, too."
The father, who also wishes to remain unidentified, reportedly told KTRK that his daughter had complained about someone watching her through the window in the past, but he didn't believe her.
He added that while he pursued the suspect across the street, the man pleaded with him, saying he "wouldn't do it again."
The incident will now reportedly be referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office for a grand jury review.