The family of a 78-year-old homeowner in north Houston says their dad was just trying to protect himself and them when he opened fire on a would-be robber in the family’s yard around 5:30 a.m. Monday.

The suspect died at the hospital.

The homeowner’s son, who was there at the time, told KHOU his dad was not hurt and is doing OK, and that he never wanted to take someone’s life but felt he had no choice with a gun to his head.

“When I laid down, I hear go, ‘Pow, pow, pow, pow’ real loud, and then I heard commotion, like voices,” one neighbor said.

The shooting jolted neighbors awake. They’re still so scared, they don’t want to be identified.

Police say the homeowner fired several shots at the suspect and into his pickup as he escaped. Investigators say he drove to a nearby car wash on Collingsworth and Hardy where he was found in the truck with gunshot wounds. Medics took him to Ben Taub Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Neighbors say the homeowner owns several properties and is well-liked throughout the neighborhood.
“I’m glad that our landlord is OK, 'cause we depend on him a lot,” said one of his tenants. “He looks out for us, he makes a lot of repairs around here, and he works very hard.”

No charges have been filed at this point, but a grand jury will take a look at the case. The homeowner and his family are now asking for privacy.

Police still haven’t identified the suspect. A spokesperson with the medical examiner’s office told KHOU on Monday afternoon the suspect’s fingerprints did not turn up a positive match, and they’re still working to positively identify him.