BOERNE, Texas – The neighbor in front of whose home police shot a Boerne man last week believes the man was hallucinating when he tried shooting his way into her house in the early hours of July 22.
A Boerne Police officer shot and killed 25-year-old Cullen Condon in the 200 block of Rosebud Street while responding to 911 calls of shots fired and someone trying to get into a home. Police say Condon pointed a gun at them, though the neighbor, watching intermittently through her window, did not see that critical moment.
“I don’t know at what point he did or didn’t aim a gun at ‘em. I don’t know if he did it multiple times or one time,” said the neighbor, whom KSAT agreed not to identify.
She said there was a possibility it happened when she wasn’t watching, though, as she did not see the final, fatal moment when the Boerne officer fired.
She knew all too well that Condon did have a gun with him, though, as she says, he used it when he tried to get into her house.
The neighbor said she had first heard two gunshots earlier in the night, sometime after 11 p.m. by her estimate, but didn’t get concerned about them. She says police later told her those had come from Condon’s house.
Though Condon also reportedly tried to get into the house across the street, even firing a shot there, the neighbor says she didn’t hear any of that commotion. But Condon made his presence clear when he arrived on her porch, police say.
The whole house was woken up about 20 minutes after she heard the two gunshots, the neighbor said, to frantic banging on the front door and window.
“He was screaming, ‘They’re going to get me. Help me. Let me in. They’re coming for me,’” the neighbor said.
The neighbor said she did not recognize Condon, who she said had a long beard and a black band T-shirt. She sent the five children to a safer spot in the house, called 911 and grabbed her gun.
“I notified the person that I was armed. I intended to shoot if he entered my home. I asked him to identify himself. I said stop. I just -- I was scared. He wasn’t, wasn’t -- he was ringing the doorbell so aggressively. My children were screaming. I could hear them. My dogs were barking. I was crying,” she recalled.
At some point, she says, she saw Condon had a gun, which he used to shoot the door and the wall in a desperate attempt to enter.
“He attempted to unlock the door by moving the door -- to open the door by the bottom handle. Screaming, ‘let me in.’ And he at some point, and not -- I don’t know. He shot. A bullet went off through the door and blew my doorknob or lock -- one. It was something -- off. Blew it off. I was standing, at that point, against the wall, scared. And a bullet grazed and went, you know, through the door, obviously -- into my wall against my shoulder,” she said.
The neighbor believes Condon was hallucinating.
“Because he was screaming, ‘Help me. They’re going to get me,’ and there was nobody in sight. And he had been banging on my door and windows for quite some time. So if somebody was after him, I would have seen somebody or something,” she said.
According to a City of Boerne news release from the day of the shooting, police received calls at 1:08 a.m. and 1:12 a.m. about shots fired and someone attempting to enter a home. Boerne Police officers and Kendall County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at 1:14 a.m., though Condon’s neighbor said it “seemed like forever.”
“At that point, both of us are screaming, ‘Help me,’” she said.
When police arrived, the neighbor said Condon kept ducking behind the bushes that block the view of most of her front porch. Though she did not watch continuously, the neighbor said every time she looked out the window, Condon was crouched, sitting in a patio chair, or against her window.
“He wasn’t in one set position. He never put his hands up to surrender, if you will. He was just frantically moving left to right and just crawling,” she said.
She could hear police giving Condon instructions, and though she did not see the moment he was shot, she saw him right before.
“He was standing at the edge of the bushes close to the sidewalk. And I remember he was screaming, and I heard lots of yelling and lots of -- it was just lots of screaming, and I heard gunshots,” she said.
According to the City of Boerne’s news release about the shooting, “Condon was located on the front porch behind tall bushes when officers began telling him to step away from the home and walk towards them.
“Condon failed to comply. Instead, he knelt behind the bushes and came back up with a weapon. Officers and the deputy instructed Condon several times to drop the weapon, but Condon pointed his weapon at the officers compelling one of the officers to discharge his weapon at 1:16 a.m.”
Condon was found unresponsive behind the bushes with a handgun next to him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The neighbor initially believed she had fired her handgun at some point in the chaos, but she says police examined it and determined it had not been discharged.
The neighbor didn’t realize who had been at her door until afterward. As she played back the man’s voice, she made the connection to her neighbor, Condon, whom she remembered much differently -- describing him as a “kind” neighbor who smiled and waved “hello.”
“He didn’t seem there to me,” she said of Condon in his final minutes. “He wasn’t the neighbor I’d seen before, in that state of mind, proper state of mind.”
The shooting, she says, has left her heartbroken.
“My heart grieves for the situation, possibly of what he was going through that no one maybe knew,” she said.
A City of Boerne spokesman declined to respond to any of the neighbor’s version of events. The Texas Rangers are handling the shooting investigation.
The officer who fired his weapon, Brandon Goudreau, has been placed on administrative duty.