A Houston, Texas man may face charges for shooting a couple of carjackers and killing one. It happened one evening last week when the man came to his local Redbox to rent a video. When he was out of his car, two men robbed him of his keys and cellphone at gunpoint before getting into the victim’s car in an attempt to leave. (If only the Redbox had posted their “Carjacking-Free Zone” sign. Then, this incident probably would have never been conceived in the first place.)
Thankfully, it wasn’t a gun-free zone, because the victim is a concealed carry holder. He retrieved his own weapon and began shooting at both carjackers, killing the driver and wounding the other. The other took off in a getaway car, leaving the scene and the victim’s car behind. The police are now on the lookout for those two suspects.
I’ve never been in that kind of situation, but I imagine it feels like your life could very well end at any second. That’s why the man shot at the criminals. They were armed thugs, and the man’s life was being threatened. He had no idea whether or not the carjackers were actually going to kill him. No one ever knows what the criminal’s intent really is. So, if a criminal decides to hold some guy up at gunpoint and steal his car under threat of death, that criminal should expect to lose his life.
A car is often described in the context of law as an extension of a person’s home. If a criminal breaks in your house and tries to steal some of your possessions at gunpoint, you have a right to defend yourself and your property. In the same way, you have a right to defend yourself and your vehicle from an armed and dangerous carjacker.
A legal analyst thinks that a grand jury probably would not convict the man of any wrongdoing. A local ABC News affiliate reported:
“KTRK legal analyst Sarah Frazier said, ‘It definitely appears to fall under or potentially fall under the penal code for defense of one’s property.’ Frazier says it’s likely a grand jury will call this a case of justifiable homicide. ‘First the grand jury is going to consider whether the gentleman was in lawful possession of the property, and from everything we know, he was,’ she explained. ‘And whether force was being used against him and it appears so.’ Frazier says the jury will also consider whether deadly force was necessary to avoid his own death or harm.”
If there’s nothing else to the story than what’s already been reported, than the man shouldn’t face any charges. He was simply defending himself and his property, and one of the carjackers got what he deserved.