Homeowner Shoots Burglar Breaking Into His House; What's the Law?


KTRK-TV (Channel 13) in Houston recently reported on a retiree who opened fire on an intruder in his home, and the news channel turned to Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington for a legal understanding about the use of deadly force in that situation.

From KTRK:

Mike Colgin was asleep inside his Tanglewood home on January 3 around 4:30 a.m. when he heard the sound of glass breaking. That’s when he grabbed the gun and began walking down the hall toward the living room.

“So I come up to the corner, and I look through the glass in the grandfather clock,” Colgin demonstrated to Eyewitness News. “That’s how I can make out who it was.”

Colgin says the man’s head and shoulders were already inside his home through the broken glass window. As soon as Colgin made sure it wasn’t a neighbor who needed help, he made a move.

“So, I took two steps out, aimed, and boom! He went straight out the window.”

The suspect, Julio Socoy-Velasquez, ran down the street, but only made it about three houses down. He was quickly arrested by police, and taken to the hospital. The bullet grazed the side of his head and ear, but he was not seriously injured. Socoy-Velasquez is now in jail, and the shooting has shaken the upscale Tanglewood neighborhood.

Click here to watch Byington’s comments about the use of force at 1:52 into the video.


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