Texans have a well-deserved reputation of being a self-sufficient bunch. That characterization carries over into taking care of themselves when facing criminal threats. Following are six examples of Lone Star State residents protecting themselves and their families with firearms.
Bobby Shaw, a 77-year-old Tyler, Texas, homeowner, shot and killed a burglar who allegedly invaded Shaw’s home. Shaw, who was in his bedroom, heard glass breaking late one December night. He grabbed a shotgun and went to investigate. Shaw spotted an intruder wielding a large tool. When the man charged, Shaw shot him. (Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, Texas, 12/10/14)
Kim Lanphere was walking near a light rail station, one of her regular stops, when a 23-year-old man nearby gave her an uneasy feeling. Her instincts were proven right when the man approached her and said, “Lady, I’ve got a gun, give me your bag!” Another woman carrying a licensed firearm was near the station at the time of the incident and witnessed the man threatening to shoot Lanphere. The witness didn’t hesitate to pull out her Glock and order the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect then fled the scene, but was later arrested and now faces aggravated robbery charges. No shots were fired during the incident. (WFAA.com, Dallas, Texas, 3/24/14)
Gareth Long was asleep with his wife shortly before midnight when he heard a loud bang inside their home. An intruder had gained entry to the Long’s home by using a tree branch to break in through a bedroom window. Long realized there had been a break-in and retrieved his handgun. He discovered the intruder in the hallway outside of their bedroom. Long was forced to fire when his repeated warnings went unheeded. The intruder’s wounds proved fatal. Long and his family were not injured. (Dallas Morning News, Cedar Hill, Texas, 12/26/13)
Two men arrangedto meet one another about a Craigslist ad for a motorcycle. When they met, the man who posted the ad pulled out a gun and pointed it at the buyer, who was with his daughter and father. The buyer pulled out his own pistol and fired at the armed suspect causing him to flee. The family called police and reported the incident. Officers located the suspect and he was treated for his gunshot wounds. Investigators reportedly found ski masks and batons in the suspect’s car. He had been previously convicted of various crimes including arson, theft and aggravated robbery. (Dallas News, Dallas, Texas, 12/3/13)
A 23-year-old woman was parked at a gas station when she received sexual advances from a man she did not know. The woman asked him repeatedly to leave her alone. Surveillance video from the gas station shows the man approaching and the pair arguing. The woman then pulled a rifle from the trunk of the car. Video shows the assailant flashing a knife and trying to hit the woman before she fired. The suspect’s wounds proved fatal. (USA Today, Houston, Texas, 7/22/13)
A resident told police he was upstairs around 2 p.m. when he heard three men kick in the front door and enter his home. The intruders attacked the resident and placed him in an upstairs closet while they ransacked the home. What the intruders didn’t know was that particular closet was where the resident kept his gun. When he thought the intruders were gone, the resident left the closet armed with that firearm. Downstairs, he encountered one of the men and the two exchanged gunfire. The intruder was struck in the shoulder and leg. He fled, but collapsed a few blocks away. The other two intruders fled as well. The resident was not injured. A neighbor commented on the incident, saying, “What happened today is exactly what guns are supposed to do—to protect your home and defend your life and your family.” (Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas, 5/15/13)