Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Joe Horn: Man Who Shot Two Burglars in the Back

When we first wrote about Joe Horn on November 27 the debate was whether Horn's actions in killing two men who had just broken into his neighbor's house in broad daylight was being either the good neighbor, protecting property or a case of cold blooded vigilantism.

"Don't go outside the house," the 911 operator pleaded. "You're going to get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun. I don't care what you think."

"You want to make a bet?" Horn answered. "I'm going to kill them."

Horn claims the two men were "10 to 12 feet from him in his yard" and that they "lunged at him."

"Move," Horn can be heard saying on the tape. "You're dead."






Horn redialed 911 and told the dispatcher what he'd done.

"I had no choice," he said, his voice shaking. "They came in the front yard with me, man. I had no choice. Get somebody over here quick." [1]
Now comes word from the Pasadena, Texas police. Horn shot the two men in the back and the incident was witnessed by a plainclothes detective.

From the Houston Chronicle:
Corbett said the plainclothes detective, whose name has not been released, had parked in front of Horn's house in response to the 911 call. He saw the men between Horn's house and his neighbor's before they crossed into Horn's front yard.

Corbett believes neither Horn nor the men knew a police officer was present.

"It was over within seconds. The detective never had time to say anything before the shots were fired," Corbett said. "At first, the officer was assessing the situation. Then he was worried Horn might mistake him for the 'wheel man' (get-away driver). He ducked at one point."

When Horn confronted the suspects in his yard, he raised his shotgun to his shoulder, Corbett said. However the men ignored his order to freeze.

Corbett said one man ran toward Horn, but had angled away from him toward the street when he was shot in the back just before reaching the curb.

"The detective confirmed that this suspect was actually closer to Horn after he initiated his run than at the time when first confronted," said Corbett. "Horn said he felt in jeopardy."[1]
Neither of the deceased carried a gun.

Neither suspect was armed, but one had a "center punch," a 6-inch pointed metal tool, in his pocket that might be used as a weapon, authorities said.

Also, they were carrying a sack filled with more than $2,000 in cash and assorted jewelry believed taken in the burglary, police said. [1]
Horn mentioned to the cop the new state law that allows homeowners to protect their property. Horn was not arrested, so far no charges have been filed.
"This case is a little different," Corbett said. "We'll have to let the grand jury sort this one out."[1]
Both were illegal immigrants from Colombia, authorities said. Torres had been deported to Colombia in 1999 after serving time for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Both were also using fake identification cards and aliases, and their backgrounds are now being scrutinized by federal authorities to determine if they were part of a Colombian fake ID and burglary ring, authorities said. [1]
A Civil Rights Activist, Quanell X has called for the Texas Rangers or FBI to investigate this case.

"I don't trust the Pasadena Police Department," he said. "Why are they just now releasing the fact that an undercover officer witnessed the whole thing? This case stinks."[1]
It is interesting that a plainclothes cop witnessed the whole incident but the police didn't mention this fact until later. Horn claims he had the right to protect his property but to some his neighbor's house is not exactly "Horn's property." Then the matter of shooting unarmed men in the back in broad daylight.

Just what does protection of property constitute? Where are the limits?

What was Joe Horn, good guy or a trigger happy vigilante?

Source - 1 - DBKP - Joe Horn: Cold Blooded Killer or Good Neighbor?

Image [Roy_Budd-Vigilante]


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