HOUSTON — The spent shell casings that littered a gas station parking lot early Wednesday morning may have come from crime victims who had simply had enough.
“They broke into our vehicles,” said Maria Aguinaga as she sat in her car near the scene of the violent confrontation.
“My brother-in-law wasn’t going to stand for it because he was right there in the neighborhood while they were doing that,” she said.
She said the two suspects broke in and stole two of the family’s pickup trucks. But family members pursued the men as they attempted to drive away.
“They ended up over here at the Exxon at 45 and Tidwell,” said HPD homicide detective Carlos Cardenas. “Somehow or another an altercation ensued where shots were fired.”
Authorities said one suspect was wounded by the gunfire. Then he grabbed on to the tailgate of one of the stolen trucks and was dragged along as it was pulling off.
Moments later, the truck struck a pillar and the suspect fell and hit his head on the concrete.
He was taken to the hospital. The second suspect was still on the run.
KHOU News 11’s legal expert said the property owners could have some tough questions to answer.
“Just because they have a right of fresh pursuit, they don’t have a right to use deadly force,” said attorney Gerald Treece. “You can’t use deadly force there unless the bad guys are turning around and using deadly force on you.”
But some folks who live near the scene applauded what their neighbors did.
“If they were protecting their property I think they did the right thing,” said Cisco Banderas.