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Old April 20, 2001, 10:58 AM   #1
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Sounds like pretty rough justice, and maybe (probably) there's more to the story. Bottom line is, don't pull this crap in Texas.


SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A 14-year-old boy was shot and killed early Thursday morning by a man who said he saw at least two people stealing chickens from his yard, police said.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner. The district attorney will review the case and laws that permit citizens to protect their property from burglary.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Juan Ibarra, who police say was with the boy, was charged with burglary.

The shooting happened on the city's southeast side around 4:30 a.m., when the homeowner said he saw at least two males taking several of his chickens, police spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said.

The man "had a gun in his hand, and when he saw this happening and they started running away, he started firing at them," she said.

The boy was shot in the back with a pistol and died at the scene, police said.

Six chicks were recovered in a fruit sack. Police said they were worth about $600.

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Old April 20, 2001, 11:17 AM   #2
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Thems some expensive chickens!
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Old April 20, 2001, 11:28 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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Shot a fleeing subject in the back?

Houston, we've got a problem.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

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Old April 20, 2001, 11:55 AM   #4
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Dumb.Real dumb.
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Old April 20, 2001, 12:05 PM   #5
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Mike wrote:

Shot a fleeing subject in the back?

Houston, we've got a problem.


While I wouldn't shoot a fleeing perp over stealing my stuff, this is perfectly legal in Texas. If it is after dark and you don't believe you can reasonably recover your property any other way, you can shoot a fleeing theif. Like I said, I wouldn't do it, but I believe that it is a good law. According to what I heard on the radio this morning, it doesn't look like that any charges are going to be filed against the owner of the chickens.

I agree, $100 per chicken???? I guess I going to be eating a lot of beans and rice.

If your looking to government for the solution, you obviously don't understand the problem.

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Old April 20, 2001, 02:04 PM   #6
Brian Gibbons
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$100 per poulet ...

In fairness, I would guess that the monetary figure assigned represents the income lost due to the potential egg production over the life of each bird. I believe the "value" of the theft is not a factor. The bottom line is that it was a theft and it contravened a law. I agree with Halffast. The law is in place to discourage theft and protect the property rights of individuals. This incident, although to some is morally questionable, is just an example of a "worst case scenario". It is the price sociey must pay if we wish to retain a person's right to their own property. Is it justice? From a purely legal standpoint I would say yes. Is it fair from the moral standpoint of all? Maybe/maybe not. But then you must ask youself "How often do we find that the "legal" aspect of a situation is in perfect agreement with everyones "moral" sensibilities?
Would I have shot the kid? No.
I would have caught the kid and offered him a chicken if he would clean the coop ...
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Old April 20, 2001, 02:15 PM   #7
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Thems some expensive chickens!

Yep! They sure are, them look like fighten chickens to me and cost big bucks, but i`m not for sure cause I never fought one they are to mean and not legal to fight so if you see one just turn tail and run.

Seriously they do look like fighting chickens, and not legal to use in Cock Fights but the Cock Fights still happen. But if they banned chickens we would not have eggs.
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Old April 20, 2001, 02:40 PM   #8
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"We have a problem?" Hell no, we don't have a problem. That kid and every other thief in Texas has a problem. When he struck out that night w/ the other guy to go steal some chickens, they knew that they were in Texas, and they knew that if they were caught, they could be shot.

It's called property rights. It's just sad the younger thief was hit, and not the older. The boy had all the opportunities to keep from dying that night: could have stayed home, could have dissuaded the older boy from stealing, and he could have dropped the chickens when he saw the homeowner with a gun. I don't feel sorry for him, just like I don't feel sorry for the Columbine killers, or the other kids who are stealing and killing for fun, and for tennis shoes, etc... Do it in Yankee land, but don't you dare come to Texas and try to get away with that crap- given my druthers, we'd bring back public hangings. But that's only if you REALLY want to reduce the crime rate.

"Trespassers (thieves) will be shot, survivors will be prosecuted."

Alright, I've said enough.

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Old April 20, 2001, 03:29 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Property rights are one thing.

Shooting a fleeing individual in the back over a chicken is another entirely.

No, I don't agree with shooting someone over a bird.

I wouldn't shoot someone in the back if they were making off with my diamond ring, either. A firearm, possibly, as it constitutes the potential for a deadly threat, or if they were attempting to toss a firebomb into my, or another individual's, residence.

But material things can be replaced.

While Texas law supports this individual's actions, I don't. It gives anti-gunners just another peg in their board for how gunowners in general are quick to shoot over the least provocation.

Long ago the anti-gunners took the fight away from substance and converted it into a question of image. This isn't a good image, and it's one that can do immense harm to gunowners nationwide.

So I'll repeat, Houston, we have a problem.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
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Old April 20, 2001, 03:45 PM   #10
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Strange state...

Let me get this straight:

You can't carry a lock blade knife like a Leatherman Wave in Austin (from the post on swords & RKBA)...

...but you can shoot a kid in the back who's stealing chickens?

Seems a little inconsistent to me.

Deadly force should only be lawful in response to violence or threat of violence (including the implied threat of violence inherent in kidnapping, robbery, burglary and arson).

Property crimes call for restitution. Killing someone for stealing violates the principal of "an eye for an eye" and can't logically be considered self-defense.
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Old April 20, 2001, 03:51 PM   #11
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I live in Houston Mike Irwin. We don't have a problem. You have a problem. Do us Texans a favor and keep your limp wristed justice in Virginia.

As far as the antis go, this type of stuff happens every once in awhile down here and it hasn't affected CCW and gun owners in this state one bit.
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Old April 20, 2001, 03:56 PM   #12
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God Bless TEXAS!!!!
Yes they probably were fighting cocks. While it is illegal to fight them in Texas, Mexico is just a few hours away, and there's big money in the cock-fights. $100.00 is probably cheap compared to what they could have made the man either fighting or if he has a good name, in selling the grown birds. Just because it is illegal in Texas though doesn't mean it doesn't happen all the time. It is perfectly legal to raise fighting chickens here, you just can't fight them. There is always a cockfight on farms and such. Dog fighting while even more disgusting is usually heard about on the news at least twice a year.

As for shooting the boy in the back:
1. If HE wouldn't have been STEALING, he'd be going to school today.
2. If HIS MOTHER would have been keeping tabs on the child, and not let him run around with a 20 year old theif, he'd be alive today.(Apparently from the news, he was fatherless: SURPRISE! SURPRISE!)

I don't buy this "blame the shooter" stuff. I put the monkey on the parent's back and the theif's back. While I probably wouldn't convict or indict the man (he was legally right), I would want to see CPS looking into the boys home, and see charges filed against his parents. Maybe this fits Negligent manslaughter criteria. Either way, it doesn't matter if he was stealing $0.10 chicks or an elephant. The theif was in the wrong, and in Texas, theifs are held to account for their actions.

If I catch someone in the act of stealing ANYTHING from me, there is liable to be trouble, but if it is after dark, I'm probably going to shoot. Morality means that you don't do some things (stealing, killing, lying...) and you expect others not to do them to you.

I just hope that this man doesn't incur any types of civil suits to defend himself from 'cause he did nothing morally wrong.
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Old April 20, 2001, 04:08 PM   #13
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justice is served.

He wont be clogging up the system any more or causing harm or mayhem anymore either. Sounds like a win win situation for all tax payers. Then again I have a soft spot for criminals.

I sure wish they would pass some stuff like that here in Utah.
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Old April 20, 2001, 04:42 PM   #14
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This should be the way the law is in all 50 states: You come on private property and steal, you die. No excuses. No "extenuating circumstances." No compassion. God Bless Texas!
Old April 20, 2001, 05:59 PM   #15
Brian Gibbons
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Bruegger ...

I respect your opinions but you publically admit that you oppose the use of deadly force to protect your property. Isn't that a little bit of an open invitation to criminals? If you saw someone breaking into your home I suspect that your first reaction would be to notify the police. Would you ask them for help but please "leave your weapons at the station"? I am not materialistic but I disagree with the "things can be replaced" statement. I feel that this attitude has degraded the respect for the personnal property of others. I wouldn't walk into a bank and scoop up a wad of other peoples cash then turn around with a smile and say, "Don't sweat it folks, Hey it's just money, it can be replaced". I won't steal from others and I won't tolerate others stealing from me. I'm sorry, but I work too hard for what I own and I simply cannot afford an attitude as liberal as yours.
With reference to the original topic of this thread, I would not have shot at the kid, but I don't condemn the fella who did ...
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Old April 20, 2001, 06:05 PM   #16
Mike H
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and they say Texas has no respect for human life.

Maybe I misread this and it was really Afghanistan.
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Old April 20, 2001, 06:13 PM   #17
Paul K
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I normally wouldent go through that extreme measures, but, i dont think the kid diserved to die, however, he shoudlent be doing that in the first place.
im glad no charges are beaing made to the home owner,he had to do what he had to do i guess. Im sure that he is quite upset that he just killed a litle boy, thats punnishment enough.
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Old April 20, 2001, 06:40 PM   #18
Brian Gibbons
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Mike H ...

I'm pretty sure the incident did not take place in Afganistan. If it did, the arresting officers would have shot the 20 year old as well ...
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Old April 20, 2001, 06:47 PM   #19
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AFAIK cock fighting is unfortunately outlawed in Texas. I believe that transportation to Louisiana and New Mexico to fight game cock is also unfortunately outlawed in Texas.

AFAIK knives that aren't dirks, daggers, bowie knives, and have blades 5.5" or less are legal in Texas.

I think the Texas 'shoot the thief at night law' is good. I also think that killing 6 chickens is ****** up.

There is a local NM case of game cock thief being shot in the legs with a 10/22 in daylight. He was charged with simple battery.
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Old April 20, 2001, 07:05 PM   #20
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Them's chickens is about to get mo' 'spensive. While perfectly legal in criminal court, the civil liability is likely to be huge. Lets much will the kids mother get from the guy shooting the kid over 6 chickens. Well, if you can get $6 million from McDonald's for spilling your own hot coffee on your lap, I'd guess the mother can get 10x for her poor, misguided chillen getting shot. That's $60 million (or $10,000,100 a chicken). Them is some 'spensive chickens.

If you consider criminal liability ONLY, follow these rules in Texas:

1) Shoot to protect yourself from deadly threat
2) Shoot to protect others from deadly threat
3) Shoot to protect your property from theft
4) Shoot to protect your property from criminal mischief AT NIGHT ONLY

IMNSHO, numbers 2,3, and 4 are foolish because they expose you to enormous civil liability. Therefore, I only follow two rules

1) Shoot to protect yourself from deadly threat
2) Shoot to protect your family from deadly threat

I will not use deadly force to protect others or material belongings...juries are too quick to penalize us for that and I don't want to wreck my life.
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Old April 20, 2001, 07:56 PM   #21
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I gotta agree and say that shooting this kid was just plain dumb over some chickens. Even though it might totally justified under Texas law it still isn't a good idea. I wasn't there and can't speculate on what happened but I would never use deadly force just to stop someone from stealing some property. But that's just my opinion!!!
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Old April 20, 2001, 08:56 PM   #22
Brian Gibbons
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I fully understand your position, and like you, I would not shoot a guy stealing my chickens. However, should Texas law remove that option from the individual whose property is being pilfered? Some of us like to feel that our attitudes are more refined than those of others. Some of us feel that the use of deadly force to protect property is an obscene concept. I ask, would any of you who disaprove of the this Texas law be willing to post a large notice in your living room window proclaiming your viewpoint? It could read as follows; "Attention: Anyone entering these premises with criminal intent is hereby notified that I do not support the use of, and will not employ, nor permit anyone else to employ on my behalf, deadly force to protect my property".

(I saw a similar slogan on another site but I have yet to see it posted in anybody's window. I find it curious that there are so many anti-deadly force advocates out there yet none of them seem too anixous to make it publicly known).
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Old April 20, 2001, 08:57 PM   #23
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As a Texan, let me chime in here. While I almost certainly would not have shot this kid, I absolutely believe that it is the perogative of the property owner to make that decision. This kind of law is exactly what keeps Texas from turning into another Kalifornia. It is also exactly what the founding fathers had in mind for this country, i.e., allow each state to make the laws they feel are right (as long as they do not violate the Constitution) and then let the chips fall where they may. After 20 years of tough justice in Texas and coddling in say Massachusetts, the criminals would figure out real fast where they were safe. I would be perfactly happy if all those with criminal intentions looked at this incident and said "Man, oh man, I do not want to be committin' a crime in Texas, I think I'll move to ____". kjm is right, if you don't like this brand of justice, LEAVE TEXAS, or STAY THE HE__ OUT!
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Old April 20, 2001, 08:59 PM   #24
Sam Norton
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I have to disagree with Cruzer. I would not shoot or condone shooting a fleeing person over theft of any material thing other than a firearm, then It would depend.

I would however definitly defend other people from obvious bad guys. I feel that people who are able to defend someone who can't defend themselfs have a duty to do so unless it puts their own family at risk.

Best Regards
Sam N
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Old April 20, 2001, 09:12 PM   #25
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I spent many years in San Antonio

as a child/teen and I have gone back many times since then. I now live in Virginia. I do not consider my stance on justice "limp wristed" (why not just come out and say what that really means. You do know it means "queer", right?). I do believe that I put more value on human life than do many others. Perhaps those two were hungry and trying to steal food for their families? Kill 'em all, right? Personally I would not take a human life unless my own or my family's safety was threatened. However, that's the law and (I assume) the thieves knew the risk going in.

On the question about knives and guns; the anti-knife laws were mainly used against the Mexicans (and other people of color) as they were more likely to carry one rather than spend the bucks on a gun (at least this was true back when these laws were passed). The Whites with their guns were always the favored groups and the law often looked the other way for their transgressions. (Again, back in the time these laws were passed. Today is a whole 'nother story.)

[Edited by Libertarian on 04-20-2001 at 10:39 PM]
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