A Houston resident grabbed his shotgun and fatally shot three men after they allegedly made their way into his home early on Dec. 23, authorities have said.
One of the two residents of the trailer home in Channelview, Yair Gallegos, spotted the men, who were wearing dark clothing, exit a car nearby. He believed one male was holding a gun, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
When they entered the trailer home, one resident reportedly came out of his room with a shotgun while the other hid, Gonzalez said. The intruder’s car was allegedly left with its engine running hinting at a planned fast getaway, he said.
@HCSOTexas units are at the 1800 blk of 1835 Amie Michele Ln. Very preliminary info: four males attempted to burglarize a residence. Three were possibly shot and three of the four are believed to be deceased at the scene. I’m enroute to the scene now. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/6EFdaQss7m
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) December 23, 2019
“It appears there was some type of gunfire exchange,” he said. “The one with the shotgun was able to shoot at the three males, and they were all pronounced deceased here at the scene.”
He didn’t rule out the possibility of there being more suspects who fled the scene.
The armed resident shot and killed the three men but was also hit once, and is currently hospitalized in a serious condition, reported Chron.
“It happened pretty quickly,” the sheriff explained. “We’re told it’s serious. But he’s going to be going into surgery, so we’re not exactly sure of his condition.”
The second resident was unharmed, he added.
Lino Pérez, Gallegos’s stepfather, who lives with his mother and their two children on the same block, told Chron the family is “sad and dismayed.”
“But thank God we are not the ones losing the life of our son,” he said. “I am like his father because I have been with him since he was four years old.”
“I talked to my wife to go see what was going on there, but by the time she got there … the fight was over, the three guys dead, and my son wounded,” he added.
Pérez and César López, a cousin of Gallegos, told the outlet his mother applied a tourniquet on one of his legs to contain the bleeding.
The sheriff said he believes at least one of the males was armed and that they appeared to be committing an attempted burglary or a home invasion. However, it is unclear why the home was targeted.
“If it turns out that that’s what they were doing—breaking into someone’s home—regardless of the circumstances, crime doesn’t pay,” Gonzalez said. “Eventually, you’re going to end up dead or end up in jail, most likely.”
Neighbor Alberto Martinez told Chron he doesn’t believe the incident was an attempted robbery.
“It looks more like; I don’t know, revenge or something like that,” he said. “Those boys had nothing of value in that house. It wouldn’t be the house that a thief would choose to steal [from] in this neighborhood.”
Gonzalez told reporters at the scene in Channelview—about 20 miles east of Houston—that the injured resident is unlikely to face criminal charges, reported Mercury News.
“The law allows residents inside their own homes to defend themselves.”
He added that the incident would be referred to the grand jury to decide if Gallegos will be charged.
The identities of the deceased suspects have not yet been released, the sheriff said. He said they all appear to be in their early twenties.