Galveston police said HPD officer K. Smith went to his home in the 23000 block of F.M. 3005 in the Bay Harbor community of west Galveston around 1:30am.
When he and his partner walked inside, they immediately noticed the home had been ransacked.
According to investigators, a man reportedly appeared from the hallway and asked the off-duty officers what they were doing in his house. Smith told the suspect that it was in fact his house, and that he was a police officer.
That's when the suspect allegedly pulled a gun on the officers. Authorities said Smith drew his own pistol and shot the man before he had a chance to fire.
Investigators said the suspect, identified as 44-year-old Timothy Merrill, was shot once in the arm and once in the torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Neighbors told us there have been several break-ins in the area recently.
A spokesperson for HPD said Smith is assigned to Clear Lake Patrol and is a 20-year veteran of the force. The shooting will be referred to the Grand Jury.