Man shot, killed while trying to break into car

Published on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 22:48 - Written by Staff Reports

A man was killed in Van Zandt County Tuesday morning while attempting to break into a car.

A homeowner in Precinct 2 awoke early Tuesday to the sounds of someone trying to break into his vehicle, according to a news release from the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office.

The homeowner ran outside with a rifle, intending to hold the young burglar until police arrived. The burglar ran from the car, and the homeowner fire shots in his direction, but did not hit him.

Then the homeowner noticed a Dodge pickup with a trailer sitting in a dark side street. The man ran to the car to take the keys out of the ignition of the running car and was confronted by the burglar.

The man was disarmed by the burglar, who began assaulting him with the rifle, the release states.

The homeowner’s son, who was awakened by the initial gunshots, saw the burglar raise the barrel of the rifle at his father. The son was fearful for his father’s life and shot the burglar, killing him instantly, according to police.

“We are a nation of laws,” Sheriff Lindsey Ray said. “Our laws protect law-abiding citizens of our nation. It is unfortunate that a young man had to die … in our community because of a bad decision he made to violate the rights of a law-abiding citizen.”

The incident is under investigation by the sheriff’s office, the Van Zandt County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Rangers, the Precinct 2 Constable’s office and the Van Zandt County Fire Marshal’s Office.