Here we have a Pasadena Texas resident named Joe Horn who witnessed two burglars breaking into his next-door neighbor’s house. He calls 911 to get the police out there, but before the cops arrive, the criminals attempted to make a getaway. The 911 operator wanted this guy to remain hunkered down in his house and let them get away. I suppose the 911 operators can’t encourage someone to put their life at risk, but that certainly doesn’t make it wrong to do so. I’ve seen several posts around suggesting Joe Horn committed murder, and that it was a some kind of “shoot first, ask questions later” situation, and that you don’t have the right to shoot someone for stealing another persons property.
As I see it, he had a right to confront these two men he saw break into his neighbor’s house, and when they then came after him instead of stopping and following his instructions, he had the right to shoot them dead, which is exactly what he did. The point is, he didn’t kill them for stealing, he merely attempted to keep them there, and they’d still be alive if they had stopped when he told them to. I don’t believe there should be a death penalty imposed by the government for anyone convicted of minor burglary, but if a cop or other citizen catches someone in the act, and the criminal attempts to respond with aggression, death of the criminal is a reasonable and understandable outcome.
If my house were being robbed during the day when I wasn’t home, I’d like to think a neighbor would have the courage Joe Horn did, and I would thank him–not call him a murderer.
Here is the audio of the 911 call. I think the video is just stock “neighborhood” footage.
And here’s a Houston Chronicle article.
This does remind me of the old joke: A man calls 911 and says two guys are breaking into his garage. The operator tells him that it will be a while because there are no officers available. The man hangs up, and calls back a few minutes later saying never mind, he’s already killed them. In less than a minute there are five police cars at his house and one cop, after subduing the burglar, says to the homeowner, “I thought you said you’d killed him!?” And the homeowner replies, “I thought you didn’t have any officers available!?”