911 Transcript of Man Who Shot Two Burglars in Texas, Use of Deadly Force Law

A Pasadena, Texas man made a 9-1-1 call when he saw two men climb out a window of his neighbor’s home at 7400 block of Timberline Drive in the Village Grove East subdivision on Wednesday, November 14, 2007.

Following is the 9-1-1 transcript based on audio of the man talking to the dispatcher as he proceeds to shoot the burglars leaving his neighbor’s house:

Operator: “I’ve got officers coming out there. I don’t want you to go outside that house and I don’t want you to have that gun in your hand when those officers are poking around out there.”

Caller: “I understand that, but I have a right to protect myself too, sir.”
The 911 operator warned the man several times to stay in his home. The man took matters into his own hands and confronted the burglars, police said.
Caller: “Here it goes, buddy.” (sound of shotgun pumping) “You hear the shotgun clicking and I’m going.”

Operator: “Don’t go outside.” (sound of shotgun pumping)

The man became upset as he described seeing two men leaving his neighbor’s home.

Caller: “They got a bag of something.”

Operator: “Don’t go outside the house.”

Caller: “I’m doing it.”

Operator: “Mr. (blank), do not go outside the house.”

Caller: “I’m sorry. This ain’t right, buddy.”

Operator: You’re going to get yourself shot if you go outside that house with the gun.”

Caller: “You wanna make a bet? I’m going to kill them.”

[Sound of gunfire.]

With police officers arriving …

Operator: “Put that gun down before you shoot an officer of mine. I’ve got several officers out there without uniforms on.”

Caller: “I’m in the front yard right now.”

Operator: “Put that gun down!”

A police investigation into whether or not the shooter acted appropriately is underway.

Both burglary suspects died at the scene. Police found a pillowcase stuffed with hundreds of dollars.

Texas Penal Code concerning the use of deadly force to protect property:

§ 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A)  the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means;  or
 (B)  the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. 
Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
1994.

§ 9.43. PROTECTION 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.

See the official Texas statutes on use of deadly force to protect property.

Castle Doctrine
A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal concept derived from English Common Law, which designates one’s place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one’s car or place of work) as a place in which one enjoys protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack. It then goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place (his/her “castle”), and/or any other innocent persons legally inside it, from violent attack or an intrusion which may lead to violent attack. Within the legal paradigm, therefore, it functions as a type of justifiable homicide.

Illinois Law from the Illinois General Assembly on Justifiable Use of Force
 (720 ILCS 5/7‑2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑2)
    Sec. 7‑2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
    (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
        (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent,
       
riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or
        (2) He reasonably believes that such force is
       
necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.
    (b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of “aggressor” set forth in Section 7‑4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
(Source: P.A. 93‑832, eff. 7‑28‑04.)

    (720 ILCS 5/7‑3) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑3)
    Sec. 7‑3. Use of force in defense of other property.
    (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with either real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a
member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
    (b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of “aggressor” set forth in Section 7‑4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
(Source: P.A. 93‑832, eff. 7‑28‑04.)

    (720 ILCS 5/7‑4) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑4)
    Sec. 7‑4. Use of force by aggressor.
    The justification described in the preceding Sections of this Article is not available to a person who:
    (a) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
    (b) Initially provokes the use of force against himself, with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or
    (c) Otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself, unless:
        (1) Such force is so great that he reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and that he has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
        (2) In good faith, he withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
(Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

See the official Illinois statutes on use of deadly force to protect property.