MCSO: Woman fatally shoots HFD firefighter she thought was trying to get into her home

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 6:59 PM

Firefighter shot

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — A frightened 64-year-old woman shot and killed a man she thought was trying to get into her Porter-area home Monday night, according to deputies.

The man was later identified as 27-year-old Sam Keen, a firefighter for the Houston Fire Department. He lived next door to the woman.

Mayor Annise Parker told KHOU 11 News Tuesday morning that Keen took a cab home after a night of drinking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

He was asked to leave the bar so his friends put him in a cab.

"No one did anything wrong. It was just a confluence of events that provoked a tragedy," Mayor Parker said. "My understanding is that the firefighter, off-duty, had been out. He did what he was supposed to do: he took a cab ride home, got dropped off in the wrong place and wasn’t aware of it. Tried to get into what he thought was his house and was tragically shot. "

The shooting happened in the 20600 block of Youpon Lane, according to deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the woman heard something on her front porch around 9:30 p.m. Monday. She looked out and saw a young man outside. She said she yelled for the man to leave, warning him that she had a gun.

The woman told deputies the man kept trying to get into her home so she fired two shots through the door and then called 911.

Keen was rushed to a Houston hospital where he later died.

Keen and his wife were newlyweds who moved to the neighborhood about a year ago.

"And so I’m just kind of, we’re here to support her and do whatever we can to kind of help them through this process," said HFD Chief Terry Garrison. "But it’s, it’s a travesty. Whether we lose a firefighter on duty or off-duty, we lose a member of our family."

Keen joined HFD in 2010 and worked at Station 58. Fire stations across Houston lowered flags to half-staff Tuesday.

Keen also served in the Marines, according to his Facebook site.

The woman who shot him was not physically hurt but was shaken up. Deputies said she was home alone at the time.

"If someone is coming through your door and trying to get in, I could see where she was scared," said Kathy Pimms, a neighbor.

"She’s a good woman," said neighbor George Henry. "I known her about five years. She’s a very nice person."

As is standard policy, the shooting will be sent to a grand jury, officials said.

So what are the chances this homeowner will be charged?

KHOU 11 News Legal Expert Gerald Treece weighs in on the possibility

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