Homeowner who shot suspected thief was 'protecting his property,' police say

Man who was killed stole jack from under car

SAN ANTONIO – A Southwest Side homeowner who shot and killed a suspected burglar early Tuesday morning was protecting his property, according to San Antonio police.

"It's unfortunate but it did cost the suspect his life," Police Chief William McManus told reporters after the shooting. "It simply boils down to a man trying to protect his property in the dark of night."

McManus said it doesn't appear the homeowner would face charges in connection with the incident.

Officers first spoke with the homeowner around 6:30 a.m. at his home in the 800 block of Jennings Avenue, where they had been called for a shooting and a subsequent car crash one block away.

Police cordoned off areas of the street near the home where the shooting happened and the site where the suspect's car hit a tree with crime scene tape to conduct dual investigations.

McManus arrived about an hour later and told reporters that the homeowner had caught the suspect stealing from him.

"He's a mechanic for a living," McManus said. "He was working on a car in front of his house. There was a jack under his car."

The suspect took the jack and had placed it into his car when the homeowner came out of his house with a gun and confronted him, police said.

"The suspect tried to drive away. The owner was hanging onto the car. The owner, at that point, fired a few rounds," McManus said.

At least two bullet holes were clearly visible on the back panel of the driver's side of the car.

McManus said it appeared the suspect also was hit by the gunfire.

As the man drove away, he lost control of his car and slammed into a tree in the 700 block of Jennings. 

The car sustained heavy damage to its front end but it's unclear whether the suspect died as a result of the gunshots or the crash.

McManus said the medical examiner will make the determination.

The name of the man who was killed was not released right away, but police said he appeared to be in his 20s.


About the Author:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.