Homeowner reportedly fatally shoots burglary suspect

A homeowner reportedly shot a burglary suspect in southwest Houston

August 3, 2012 10:34:17 AM PDT
A grand jury will have to review evidence from an early morning shooting in far southwest Houston, during which a resident fatally shot a man who reportedly came at him with a shovel, after using that tool to break into the man's vehicle.

It happened just before 5am on Misty Glen near Ensbrook Drive. The owner of the car, Oscar Abel Hernandez-Cortez, immediately called his brother-in-law, Ever Fuentes, who rushed to the scene.

By the time the Fuentes and police arrived, the suspected car burglar was near death and was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

"He did hear some noise outside earlier this morning like around 5am. That's when he got out of the house, pulled a gun and shot the suspect," said Fuentes.

Detectives say according to Hernandez, he confronted the suspected burglar and told him that it was his car, to which he said the suspect claimed the car belonged to him. The suspected burglar had smashed out a window with a shovel from the resident's Toyota Avalon and then allegedly came at Hernandez.

"The homeowner confronted the man with the shovel, told him he was breaking into his car," said Detective C. Abbey with the Houston Police Department Homicide Division. "The man with the shovel actually told the homeowner that it was his car."

What happened next, say police, appears to be a legal case of a man protecting himself and his property.

"Almost immediately after confronted by the homeowner, the suspect then came at the homeowner with the shovel. The homeowner was fearful and fired at the suspect," said Abbey.

The suspect died a short time later at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

Texas law states that if you are threatened and in fear for your life on your own property, you are justified in using deadly force. But police say that will go to the district attorney and be referred to a grand jury, but detectives do not believe any charges will be filed against Hernandez.

"As a homeowner you can protect yourself. That's one of the things that can occur in the State of Texas," said Abbey.

The roommate of the homeowner said there were keys to a black Dodge Charger that the deceased car burglar dropped in the driveway during the burglary, and those keys matched a car on Saulsworth, right around the corner from the house where the car break-in occurred. An investigation is underway.

There are no charges so far, and the deceased has not been identified.

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