HPD: Homeless man kills armed burglar in northeast Harris County

The suspect was shot and killed early Thursday morning after exchanging gunfire with the homeless vet
December 5, 2013 4:34:51 PM PST
He was once assigned to Army mission reconnaissance during the first Gulf War in Iraq. Like too many veterans, his life after the service translated into a series of challenges that finally had him living on the streets.

The man, who doesn't want to be identified, was befriended by a business owner in the Aldine area, who gave him a place to park his truck, which doesn't run. The man lives in it when it's cold. In return, he keeps an eye on the property at night.

Before 1am Thursday, that arrangement was put to the test. Three armed robbers were trying to break into a mobile home used for storage on the property. The vet scared them off -- or so he thought. But he did rattle them enough that one of the robbers dropped his weapon.

The men ran, and then realized they were minus a .45 handgun. What they didn't realize is the veteran had picked it up.

County homicide detectives say a gunfight followed, with the vet and the robber exchanging rounds. In the end, the robber was shot and killed. His two companions fled.

The veteran says he takes no comfort in what happened.

"It's Christmas time, and he probably has a family who'll miss him," he said, "but it was either him or me."

The name of the deceased suspect has not been released.

Both suspects on the run are believed to be armed. If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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