A Texas man has become a hero after he took it upon himself to shoot and kill two burglars who had broken into his neighbour's house.Yes, and your husband was clearly rather eager to help himself to other people's property. Had he been able to refrain from doing so, he would still be alive today. As it is, I for one won't be shedding any tears for him.
Joe Horn called the police to report the burglary and then stepped outside and shot the burglars dead as they left the neighbour's house.
A recording of the call suggests Mr Horn, 61, was itching to kill the two burglars.
"Don't go outside the house," the 911 operator pleaded.
"You're going to get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun. I don't care what you think."
"You want to make a bet?" Horn answered.
"I'm going to kill them."
Admirers, including several of his neighbours, say Mr Horn is a hero for killing the burglars, protecting his neighbourhood and sending a message to would-be criminals. Critics call him a loose cannon. His attorney says Mr Horn just feared for his life.
Horn was home in Pasadena, about 15 miles southeast of Houston, on Nov 14 when he heard glass breaking, said his attorney, Tom Lambright.
He looked out the window and saw 38-year-old Miguel Antonio DeJesus and 30-year-old Diego Ortiz using a crowbar to break out the rest of the glass.
He grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and called 911, the police emergency number, Lambright said. "Uh, I've got a shotgun," he told the dispatcher.
"Uh, do you want me to stop them?"
"Nope, don't do that," the dispatcher responded.
"Ain't no property worth shooting somebody over, OK?"
Horn and the dispatcher spoke for several minutes, during which Mr Horn pleaded with the dispatcher to send someone to catch the men and vowed not to let them escape.
Over and over, the dispatcher told him to stay inside.
Horn repeatedly said he couldn't.
When the men crawled back out the window carrying a bag, Mr Horn began to sound increasingly frantic.
"Well, here it goes, buddy," Mr Horn said as a shell clicked into the chamber.
"You hear the shotgun clicking, and I'm going."
A few seconds passed.
"Move," Horn can be heard saying on the tape. "You're dead."
Mr Horn redialed 911 and told the dispatcher what he'd done. "I had no choice," he said, his voice shaking. "They came in the front yard with me, man. I had no choice. Get somebody over here quick."
Mr Lambright said Mr Horn had intended to take a look around when he left his house and instead came face to face with the burglars, standing 10 to 12 feet from him in his yard.
Mr Horn is heavyset and middle-aged and would have been no match in a physical confrontation with the two men, who were young and strong, Lambright said.
So when one or both of them "made lunging movements," Mr Horn fired in self-defence, he said.
Family members of the two shooting victims have made few public statements.
Diamond Morgan, Ortiz's widow, who has an 8-month-old son with him, told Houston television station KTRK that she was stunned by Horn's statements on the 911 tape."It's horrible," she said. "He was so eager, so eager to shoot."
Update: They certainly know how to deal with burglars in Texas: here's another case of a Texan property owner shooting a thief dead, on Thursday afternoon local time.