A Texas homeowner used a firearm to incapacitate a suspected burglar on Friday after discovering an intruder in the house, prompting some local support for the homeowner’s actions on social media.
The incident occurred in the early hours of May 19, when a man, later identified by authorities as Jason Omar Cruz, allegedly attempted to burglarize the home of a Beaumont resident in the 5300 block of Wildwood Avenue, according to a Facebook post made by the Beaumont Police Department (BPD).
“While Officers were [en] route, [dispatch] advised that the homeowner had shot the suspect. … When officers arrived they found the suspect unresponsive in a large pool of blood inside the bathroom,” BPD wrote.
The responding officers rendered aid to the suspect, with one utilizing a tourniquet and consequently saving his life, according to BPD. The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
Per an update posted on Facebook by BPD, authorities secured an arrest warrant for burglary of a habitation the following day. Cruz will be transported to Jefferson County Jail after recovering from his injuries. A judge has already set his bond at $100,000.
The homeowner is currently not facing criminal charges because Texas law allows lethal force to be used in particular circumstances.
“Some states refer to them as the castle doctrine, or stand your ground doctrines. In Texas, we call it self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property[;] those are the three justifications,” said Ryan Gertz, a criminal defense attorney, speaking with 12 News Now.
People took to Facebook to comment on the incident in the thread of BPD’s original post in the wake of the shooting.
“Most people would regret taking another life, but a good guy with a gun will always stop a bad guy. We have to be able to protect our homes. Good job homeowner,” wrote Beaumont resident Jay Christopher.
Deborah Leone Guidry also weighed in, writing, “If we start fighting back instead of being victims maybe we can get crime under control. This is getting out waaay out of control lately. [Police] can’t be everywhere.”
Dozens of others also registered their support for the homeowner.
“Even though they are the ones who shot the suspect, they are still the victim. The suspect is the one who broke the law and committed a crime and as a result, he was shot,” BPD spokesperson Haley Morrow told 12 News Now.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, burglaries have been on the rise in some parts of Dallas, where City leaders are struggling to get crime under control — particularly murders, which have been up more than 20% year to date through May 1 compared to the first four months of 2022, according to a report by the Dallas Police Department.