HPD: Neighbor shoots suspect who broke into home next door in southeast Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police are investigating after a neighbor shot a suspect who was trying to break into the home next door in southeast Houston.

Authorities were called out around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday for a shooting at a home in the 4800 block of Ventura.

Two girls, ages 12 and 14, called their mother to tell her someone was trying to break into their home. She told them to hang up and call 911, while she activated the alarm to the house.

"The mom actually has (surveillance) video that she shared with us. (The burglar) came and knocked on the front door, as typical burglars do, to see if anyone was home. Then, you see him walk towards the back. There's no video after that, but he did make entry through the back side of the home," said Sheryl Victorian, an assistant chief with HPD.

Police say the neighbor heard the alarm and went outside to investigate. He spotted the suspect coming out the back of the house, and fired two shots. When police arrived, he led them to the suspect.

The suspect was in stable condition.

"I'm hoping that other people may see this... and leave us alone, because we look out for each other and try to take care of each other," said Nita Gilbert, a woman who lives in the neighborhood.

When the girls' father arrived at the house, he thought his daughters were still in danger and broke a window, pulling the kids from the bedroom where they were hiding.

People in the neighborhood are calling the neighbor a hero.

"I can't wait to see him. I want to give him a hug. It could've been my house and it was kids in that house, and that was the scariest part about it-- the kids being in the house, so he's very much a hero," said Trinetra Stephenson, another woman from the neighborhood.

A grand jury will determine if any criminal charges are filed against the neighbor. Eyewitness News reporter Marla Carter looked into state law and found this:

Texas Penal Code 9.43 - Defense of Third Person's Property
A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
(1) The actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or
(2) The actor reasonably believes that:
(A) The third person has requested his protection of the land or property;
(B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person's land or property; or
(C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.

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