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A man sleeping in his pickup truck was awakened during a burglary attempt. The sleeping man did what you'd think a Texan would do. He shot at the burglar.
The incident occurred near Houston in a Wells Fargo parking lot as the unidentified burglary victim was sleeping in the backseat of his pickup truck. The man was waiting for his wife to transact business inside when he heard a large crash and was stunned by the brazen burglary attempt, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The burglar punched out the front passenger-side window and the victim thought that he was being shot at. So he reached for his gun.
Before any shots were fired, the awakened man and the burglar fought over a backpack in the front seat. The burglar then ditched the bag and took off with a bank bag containing $80, reports the Chronicle.
As the burglar fled, the burglary victim got out of his truck and fired two shots at the suspect with his 0.40 caliber handgun. He hit the front and back windows of the fleeing car, but authorities do not believe the suspect was hit.
While many may applaud the burglary victim's actions and fighting back against crime, you may be wondering if his shooting at a fleeing suspect was necessary, justified, or even legal?
In Texas, self defense laws allow someone to use deadly force if the person knows or reasonably believes that someone has or is attempting to unlawfully enter by force the person's occupied home, vehicle, or place of business.
As you can see, Texas self defense laws are quite liberal, and would apply to the defense of a pickup truck.
However, in this case, the issue may be whether the burglar was attempting to break into his car at the time of the shooting. By the time the shooting happened, the burglar was already fleeing. In fact, the shooter had to get out of his car to shoot the suspect as he got into his car.
So it's not entirely clear if the burglar victim was within his rights to fire the shots.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.