Joe Horn in his own words

July 2, 2008 1:01:52 PM PDT
For the first time, a Pasadena homeowner is talking about the case that Houstonians can't stop talking about. Joe Horn is remarkably candid about the ordeal. He says he had trouble sleeping last night, apprehensive about talking publicly about the incident for the first time.

Horn shot and killed two men who he believed were stealing from his neighbor's home in Pasadena last November. He called 911 from inside his home, telling a dispatcher that he had a gun, that he intended not to let the men get away.

Horn ignored the dispatcher's demands to stay inside his home and instead took his shotgun out into his front yard. Horn says he was confronted there by the two suspected burglars, that one actually charged him. Autopsies revealed that both Diego Ortiz and Hernando Torres were shot in the back.

"But in reality, when he rushed me, just before I fired, he made a turn. So I got him into the side. It happened very fast," said Horn to Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer this morning. "When you're confronted, when somebody rushes you, you've already told him not to move, you know that you must shoot or you're gonna be dead."

Horn insists that he feared for his life, that he is the not the vigilante some have concluded he is. He also says he is no hero.

"If we could clear the air on that, Joe Horn is no hero and I know that for a fact," said Horn. "He was scared and he was going to, had to do something that is horrible, to save his life."

"Nobody wants to do something like this, nobody," he continued.

He says he deserves no accolades, and similarly, no scorn for what he did. He says this incident has changed his life forever.

Meanwhile, the families of the men shot and killed by Horn say they're still waiting for justice. Hernando Torres' fiancee was joined by black community leaders at a news conference yesterday Both she and Diego Ortiz's common-law wife tell us they are exploring their legal options.

A protest is being planned for next week outside the district attorney's office and activists also want to see if changes can be made to Castle Doctrine, the state law that shielded Horn from criminal indictment.

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