VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
A man is dead after a Van Zandt County resident caught him burglarizing his pickup.
According to the Van Zandt County Sheriff, early Tuesday morning, a Van Zandt County resident woke up to find someone burglarizing the pickup truck in his front yard. The homeowner approached the burglary suspect with a rifle, hoping to hold him until authorities could arrive. The suspect suddenly fled the scene, prompting the property owner to fire shots at the fleeing suspect.
The homeowner also observed a Dodge pickup and flatbed trailer parked in the dark on the road near his house. The man saw the pickup truck was running with the keys in the ignition. He entered the suspect's truck, turned the engine off and removed the keys. Suddenly, the suspect appeared and a confrontation ensued. The suspect managed to get the man's rifle away from him, assaulting the man in the process.
The homeowner's son, awakened by the gunshots, saw the young male suspect raise the rifle and, fearing the suspect was about to shoot his father, shot the suspect, killing him instantly.
"We are a nation of laws. Our law protects the law-abiding citizens of our nation," said Van Zandt County Sheriff Lindsey Ray. "It is unfortunate that a young man had to die this morning in our community because of a bad decision he made to violate the rights of a law-abiding citizen."
The case will be referred to the Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney's Office for referral to the Grand Jury.
The case investigation was conducted by the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney's Office, the Texas Rangers, the Precinct 2 Constable's Office and the Van Zandt County Fire Marshal.