Man may have been breaking into home when 14-year-old shot him to death
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — A man who was knocking on doors in east Harris County, possibly trying to break into homes, was shot and killed by a 14-year-old boy on Thursday morning, according to investigators.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for service at a home in the 14400 block of Brownsville Street just before 7 a.m. At the scene, they found a man who had been shot and killed.
According to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the man approached the home and was messing with the front door. Gonzalez said it’s unclear if he actually unlocked and opened the door or if he was just turning the door knob back and forth, trying to get inside.
“A 14-year-old boy who was home alone inside the residence became alarmed, grabbed a pistol, and walked to the doorway,” Gonzalez said. “He saw a man he didn’t recognize and reportedly fired five or six shots from inside the home, striking the man.”
This all unfolded as neighbor Araceli Herrera first noticed a man acting weird outside her property.
“There was this guy in the ditch, and then he got out of the ditch, and he walked around the ditch, and he’s like, super weird behavior,” she said. “With this super weird behavior and a man I never saw, I figured I need to call my neighbor and let her know there is a man going to your property.”
Herrera’s security cameras captured the man, wearing a heavy coat, backpack, and gloves, roaming around the property. As Herrera called her neighbor, he walked next door. Gonzalez said the teen was home alone because a woman had just left the house to drop off other kids, and the father was possibly at work.
“Right when I looked up, that’s when I (saw) the kid open up the door and shoots him for the first time. At this point, the guy falls, and he shoots him three more times,” Herrera recalled of the moment she saw the gunfire.
About three other neighbors made calls about someone who met the man’s description trying to break in and pulling on door knobs around 6:15 a.m. and 6:20 a.m., HCSO said. Some neighbors also said the man was asking for money.
“If we go with the possibility that the male was trying to break into the home, then it’s possible that he may have spotted people leaving the home and was trying to make entry into the home,” Gonzalez said.
Investigators also said the man was familiar with the homeless outreach team in the area. They said they have had contact with him in the past.
The teenage boy and his family are cooperating with investigators, HCSO said.
“They have a right to protect their home. They have a right to feel safe in their home,” Gonzalez said. “Ironically, there is a sign on the gate that basically says that, something to the effect that, ‘Intruders will be met with force.’ So, I think it’s very clear on the front gate.”
The investigation into what exactly happened is ongoing.